AFFORDABLE and EASY Electrolyte Water

About: General all around DIYer!!!

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated or replenish the water that you sweat out while exercising or doing any sort physically demanding activity. BUT do you know that you sweat out more than just water? Part of what you lose through sweating are electrolytes, which one could argue are equally, if not more important, to replenish.

What are electrolytes?

In a nut shell, electrolytes are charged minerals responsible for fluid (water) travel in and out of cells, triggering action potential, enzyme production, etc. The most common being Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium.

Why do we need them?

Without electrolytes, you would find it very difficult to get water into your cells (to hydrate your body) as some of them, namely sodium and potassium, act as the gatekeepers of your cells. We've all heard a performance athlete referred to as a "well-oiled machine." In this analogy the athlete is likened to a machine, let's say a car. Food and water is the fuel that the car runs on for energy, electrolytes are the oil that makes sure that all the moving parts run smoothly and efficiently. When a car is low on oil, a check engine light comes on to notify the driver of the deficiency. The same is true of the human body. Muscle cramping, muscle weakness, fatigue, are all the body's little "check engine lights" telling us that something is wrong. Also, like a car, it is best to address these deficiencies before those lights come on, before it might already be too late. In a car, you can usually see signs that you are losing oil in form of a puddle under the car. In the human body, it manifest as sweating when performing some sort of physical activity. This is the context for my recipe.

NOTE: Electrolyte replenishing is not an exact science in that different people have different requirements based on age, weight, level of physical conditioning, genetics, etc. This is just a starting point, don't be afraid to tweak it as needed. :)

DISCLAIMER: I am not, nor do I claim to be an expert or a medical professional. The information gathered here is through my own research and personal experience. With that, proceed and experiment at your own risk. If you have any concerns, consult your doctor or medical professional first. Thank you!

Step 1: Ingredients

In the game of sport rehydration, sodium is king! Sodium is the biggest facilitator of water into the cells. Followed by potassium and magnesium, with calcium bringing up the rear. All that considered, and compared to many different (expensive) health food store electrolyte supplements, I have come up with a desired breakdown as follows:

Sodium: 300-400mg

Potassium: 100-300mg

Magnesium: 25-75mg

Calcium: ~25mg

As I stated before, this is just a starting point and may require you to increase or decrease different doses as needed. YMMV.

INGREDIENTS

1/16 teaspoon baking soda = 153.5mg sodium

5/16 teaspoon Morton's Lite Salt = 175mg potassium and 145mg sodium

1/8 teaspoon epsom salt = 60mg magnesium

1 Calcium tab = 600mg* (we only need 25mg per dose)

At least 16 ounces of water.

*A couple things about the Calcium tabs. Buy whatever is cheapest. They will all be in a much higher dose than need for a single dose of the electrolyte powder we are making, which will dictate how we scale up each of the other ingredients in the batch. Calcium tabs come in many different strengths so you'll have to do a little math to figure out what you'll need. One last thing about the calcium, most calcium supplements are in a Calcium Carbonate form which is not water soluble. What that means is that it won't dissolve completely in the water. SO before you take a swig, just make sure to give it a good shake and you're good to go! :)


Step 2: The MATH!

RECIPE

1/16 teaspoon baking soda = 153.5mg sodium

5/16 teaspoon Morton's Lite Salt = 218.75mg potassium and 181.25mg sodium

1/8 teaspoon epsom salt = 60mg magnesium

1 Calcium tab = 600mg* (we only need 25mg per dose), 1 tab is roughly 1/2 teaspoon (1/48 teaspoon per dose! A really small amount!)

NOTE: To make it easy, each dose will be 1/2 teaspoon. The volume of the calcium is negligible so we basically won't account for it. The final strengths of everything else will be very slightly less than calculated but like I said, it's not an exact science.


As I previously stated, 1 calcium tab (that I am using) is 600mg but we only want 25mg per dose so:

600mg/25mg=24 doses.

This means we have to multiply the rest of the ingredients, that are already in single dose quantities, by 24.

FINAL RECIPE

24 x 1/16 teaspoon = 1&1/2 teaspoons of the baking soda.

24 x 5/16 teaspoon = 7.5 teaspoons = 2&1/2 tablespoons of the Morton's Lite Salt.

24 x 1/8 teaspoon = 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon of epsom salt.

~1/2 teaspoon/1 tab calcium.


FINAL BREAK DOWN (per dose)

Sodium = ~334.75mg

Potassium = ~218.75mg

Magnesium = ~60mg

Calcium = ~25mg


Step 3: The Final Product

I used a mortar and pestle to grind the tablet of calcium into a powder. The insides turns to powder pretty easilybut there is a thin skin that encapsulates the tablet, just give it a good grinding and it will all but disappear into the powder. Now just mix the rest of the powders as calculated and that's it! Like I said EASY!

To store it, is up to you! I prefer to keep it in a zip-lock baggy with a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon for easy dosing. As for how to mix it, add a 1/2 teaspoon to at least 16 ounces of water.

OPTIONAL: You can add lemon/lime juice or herbal tea or whatever you want for flavor.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and ask! :)

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    6 Discussions

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    arkrayGadisha

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thank you! I'm glad you think so! :D

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    itwinduglo

    2 months ago on Step 2

    The bulk electrolyte powder I use uses theses amounts:

    Sodium (Na) 260 mg, Potassium (K) 77 mg, Calcium (Ca) 47 mg, Magnesium (Ma) 7,5 mg.

    You use quite a lot more of Magnesium and Potassium.

    3 replies
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    arkrayitwinduglo

    Reply 2 months ago

    Yup, every recipe is different, some have more, some have less, some are exclude one or more all together.

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    itwindugloarkray

    Reply 2 months ago

    Of course I know there are different formulas, but to me the difference in Potassium and Magnesium stood out. And that made me curious.

    If you have some info about the different products you compared, I can always adjust my formula.

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    arkrayitwinduglo

    Reply 2 months ago

    I compared all the electrolyte combinations I could get my hands on (or eyes on technically) from Gatorade to this stuff call Dr. Berg's Electrolyte Powder, as well as, looking up what the current schools of thought are in sports medicine, spoiler alert: there' a lot variation. From there, I tried to take the themes and compared them against any possible adverse side effects there might be from too much (not really all that much as long as you stay within reason) and went from there. Like I stated, when it comes to rehydration, sodium is king followed closely by potassium. They are basically the two that dictate whether or not water is allowed into the cell. Without them, all (not really all, but most) the water you intake just gets excreted. Potassium also plays a big role in nerve impulse and muscle contraction. Something I read is that most people are actually potassium deficient which is part of the reason I increased the dose in my powder comparatively. Magnesium is also very important for proper nerve and muscle function BUT it also aid in the absorption of potassium and calcium which is why I opted for a slightly higher dose than average. Calcium also aids in muscle contraction but also helps to stabilize blood pressure. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!