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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

June 26, 2009

Electrolytes aren't just for the horse.

You've seen the sports drinks lining supermarket shelves at the tune of about a dollar per bottle. PowerAid, GatorAid, Cytomax™,Accelerade, Smart Water, and the list goes on, and on. There are several components of these drinks that I am personally sensitive to, one major ingredient that my body won't tolerate is citric acid, and the high corn sugar fructose sends me spiraling into sugar highs, followed by a sickening crash. Couple that with the fact that I'm so prone to heat exhaustion that two or three episodes a year is not unusual, and I've landed in the hospital once from a severe episode. what to do about my electroltyes. Since I have to eliminate the high sucrose, fructose, and citric acid that left me with Smart Water at about $1.20 per 16 oz. bottle. Interstingly the ingredients listed water, sodium, and potassium which are all good things to keep the electrolytes in balance. So as I wandered through the Kroger store looking for electrolytes in tablet form (of which I found none) it seemed to me that electrolyte drinks shouldn't be all that hard to make. So I searched out a few recipes and this is the one that I liked.

1 Liter of water
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of lite salt (this the potassium part)
1/4 tsp of baking soda

The baking soda I'm not sure of, unless it is just used as a buffer, or is the sodium carbonate serving another function?

So how to make it more tasty? I'm wondering if you mixed it into part frozen grape juice, crushed ice, and added a little artificial sweetener if it would taste good? The recipe I found called for using Orange Koolaid + Sugar (citric acid is the main ingredient in Koolaid) and refined sugar is the last thing I need (weight struggles, sugar hights and lows).

So anybody out there want to try mixing up some home made sports drinks for replenishing the electrolytes we sweat out in this kind of weather? Seems like if you filled your bottles, and put them on ice it would taste pretty darn good going down on a hot humid day, and would be way more cost effective than buying the pre-made just too darn sweet type.

One very hot ride I attended nothing went down post ride so well as chilled V-8 juice...instant sodium satisfaction. But not practical to pack along during a ride.

1 comment:

  1. I swear by these, they're made for ultra-runners, BY an ultra-runner and they work fabulously.

    Sodium bicarbonate is good for people because we, unlike our horses, become more acidic as we sweat and exert ourselves. So good for people, bad for ponies. Your recipe sounds pretty good. I'd probably like it with some diluted cran-rasberry. I'm with you on the V8 during/after a ride though! YUMMY! But must be drunk cold. Blech to warm V8. =P