It’s summer, which means it’s getting hot, hot, hot! This is the time of year when we start running, biking, and hiking outside. But in the summer heat, all that sweating can cause us to lose a lot of electrolytes. And as anyone who’s ever had heatstroke (or a hangover!) knows, it’s no fun when those electrolyte levels get too low.
What are electrolytes? Basically, they are charged ions found in body fluids that help keep your blood chemistry balanced and assist with muscle function. When we sweat a lot or become dehydrated we lose a lot of these electrolytes and need to replenish them.
Our diets do a pretty good job keeping our electrolyte levels balanced, and if we work out for less than an hour, or don’t get very sweaty, we don’t usually need to worry about our electrolytes: water will do just fine for hydration. But in the summer, when you sweat a lot, it’s a good idea to keep those electrolytes replenished.
Athletes are always chugging bright-colored sports drinks, but these store bought drinks often contain a lot of sugar, plus artificial colors and flavors, and other preservatives. It’s super easy to make your own electrolyte sports drink at home. Plus it’s definitely cheaper and I think it tastes better! It kept me going for 62 miles on my bike ride last weekend!
In this recipe, the salt adds sodium, which is one electrolyte we quickly lose when we sweat. Lemon has potassium and calcium, which when combined with sodium, balances the pH and fluid levels in the body. Other citrus fruits also contain the right minerals for electrolyte replenishment, so feel free to experiment with oranges, limes, and grapefruits as well.
Honey adds a little glucose to boost your blood sugar, and helps the body absorb the minerals more quickly. Plus it’s a natural sweetener to help balance out the tartness of the lemon.
So get sweating and feel good about replenishing your body afterwards!
Add honey and salt to hot water. Stir until dissolved. Squeeze in the fresh lemon juice (add more to taste) and stir. Let it cool in the refrigerator overnight or for a couple hours until chilled.
Sweat it up and enjoy!