As an athlete, it's no surprise to you that staying hydrated and preserving electrolyte balance is a chief concern during training and events.
Substantial losses of electrolytes like sodium and potassium will negatively affect your health and your performance, producing symptoms such as:
- muscle cramping
- heart irregularities
Very severe losses can result in coma...
Obviously, it's imperative to stay properly hydrated while you're out there working hard...
...But that doesn't mean you have to chug gallons of glow-in-the-dark sports drinks or buy expensive electrolyte drink mixes.
Nope, instead, you can simply grab a few items your kitchen pantry, mix them up in a container of water, and make the exact same electrolyte-packed rehydration drink (referred to as ORS -- oral rehydration salts) recommended by the Rehydration Project nonprofit organization, whose mission is to save the lives of children from developing countries who are at high risk of dying from dehydration due to Diarrhoeal disease.
The best part is, mixing this up in your kitchen with a few simple ingredients means that you're maximizing hydration without loads of sugar (just the amount necessary to maximize sodium transport through the cell membrane), and without artificial colors, flavors, etc.
This is the all-natural electrolyte solution!
DIY Rehydration Drink -- The Recipe
1 liter (5 cups) of water
1/4 teaspoon of salt (sodium chloride)
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
2 tablespoons of sugar or honey
I typically make this up in the morning before training, during which I sip the drink until it's about 80% consumed, and finish the rest post-workout.
Often, I'll then mix up another batch to consume throughout the day.
But, use as you see fit.