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When the weather is pleasant, I love to run outside. I may even train for a race or a relay depending on how bold and uncharacteristically athletic I feel. As my daily workouts have increased in frequency, I concocted my own homemade electrolyte drink for the sake of my hydration (and my pocketbook).
Electrolytes include minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphate that produce a charge when they dissolve. Electrical impulses trigger many of our body’s functions. These charged minerals aid in regulating fluid balance, contracting muscles, repairing tissue, balancing blood pressure and transmitting nerve impulses.
When you exercise, your body loses electrolytes through your sweat. Electrolyte drinks replenish those essential charged minerals in a way that water alone cannot.
Running has many benefits: increased endorphins, improved heart health and quality time romping around outdoors. The main downside to my running habit is that I spend more than I usually budget for groceries on Gatorade, Powerade and other electrolyte drinks.
Like many others, I aim to spend less on groceries (and reduce my plastic waste — all those bottles add up), so I embarked on making a homemade electrolyte drink. There are many different recipes online depending on what flavor you like and what supplements you want to include. I like this one the best because it is adaptable, effective and made out of items I already have in my kitchen.
— 2 cups warm water (or room-temperature coconut water, if you are feeling fancy — you can even do 1 cup water and 1 cup coconut water if you just want a little extra flavor)
— Juice of 1/2 a lemon and 1 lime, or juice of 1 orange, depending on which flavor you prefer
— 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt (Himalayan pink salt has slightly more trace minerals than your average salt — not nearly as much as some health blogs claim, but still — but you can also use fine sea salt in a pinch)
— 2 teaspoons raw honey (you can also use maple syrup or any other water soluble natural sweeteners you have on hand)
Combine the ingredients in a pitcher with a lid or a pint-sized mason jar.
Shake vigorously until the salt is dissolved, the honey (or sweetener of choice) is well-incorporated and ingredients generally look combined.
Cool in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before drinking (I recommend letting them chill overnight, if you can, and adding a few ice cubes before taking your first sip).
Rehydrate and enjoy. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.