Friday, March 22, 2013

Homemade Sports Drink / Electrolyte Replacement / Labor-Ade

Sigh, unfortunately we've had the opportunity to use this recipe as an electrolyte replacement a few times lately.  Since it tastes so yummy, we go through it rapidly every time I make it, & even those who are not sick enjoy it too!!

I also bottle it up in re-purposed glass bottles or small jars (I use plastic bottles if we will be inside though, just in case... I don't want to be the mama who brought glass & their kid broke the bottle all over the floor... that everybody is shaking their heads at wondering why on earth they brought glass... uhm, hello... BPA?!) for the youngster Lees during sports, practices, etc.

All ready to drink
Why homemade?!  Well, first of all, it is very frugal AND sports drinks, such as Gatorade & Powerade, & electrolyte replacement beverages are all chock full of chemicals, dyes, high fructose corn syrup (which contains mercury & lead!), artificial sweeteners, fluoride, etc... all things that tax the immune system, especially when it is most fragile... not that they are "healthy" at any time, but they should be especially avoided when we are sick, dehydrated, etc.  While using store bought lemon juice and/or line juice does usually contain sulfites, as preservatives, I still tell myself that (say it with me!) "Whatever I make at home is almost always STILL going to be healthier that store bought"... especially on a limited budget.

This drink has many purposes... in fact, during a homebirth my midwife & nurse made some of this and tried to get me to drink it...they called it Labor-Ade & I was convinced they were trying to make me feel even MORE miserable than I already felt with their voodoo potion (when I am laboring I am not always super trusting of people, even when they are truly trying to help me! LOL) ... of course, I knew that wasn't true & that it wasn't really voodoo potion... but being as sick as I was, I was just not feeling the mind you, I was in the throes of hard, hard posterior L.A.B.O.R. (my 2nd straight day of it too w/no rest!) & could not even hold down water, & this did NOT go over so well with me either... but when not in labor I have grown to REALLY like it!!

I assume when the midwife made it, it was made with sugar if she used what we had in our pantry, and I have since made it with local honey instead of cane sugar as I am trying to replace sugar with honey, as much as possible.  We often have crystallized honey around the house, & I like to keep the raw properties of it intact when using it as an ingredient in something like a beverage that won't be cooked or baked,  so I prefer not to heat it to get it to turn into a liquid again (even though you can heat it to 110 degrees & still keep it raw).

The issue w/using crystallized honey in a beverage recipe though is that it tends to stay clumped in a glob, unless you stir, stir, & stir some more.  So I actually put a bit of the water & the rest of the ingredients (the salt, the baking soda, lemon, & lime) in my Vitamix with the honey and it gets all mixed up together.  You could certainly use a regular blender or you could just stir it by hand... or you could just heat your honey up if you aren't as type A as me so it would stir in easier & be done with it! LOL

Rest assured, this is not overly sweet & doesn't make you feel like you are slugging down a glass of straight sugar (even if you use sugar instead of honey) because the amount of sugar, honey, etc. is so minimal compared to the ratio of water, that the sweetness is very subtle & refreshing.  For comparison, an 8 ounce cup of juice contains 8 TABLESPOONS of SUGAR (if juice contains that much sugar, imagine what soda contains), so the sugar ratio in this beverage is very low.

Have fun with it... feel free to make it both ways (sugar or honey) & see what your preference is... you can also use xylitol, stevia, etc.


1 gallon of water (minus 1 cup to account for the lemon juice)
1 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons lime juice (optional, but I really think it adds a nice taste)
1/2 cup sugar, honey, or other sweetener
1 tsp salt (I usually use kosher, unrefined, or pink Himalayan but you can use what you have)
1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions using a blender

1.  If using crystallized honey (or to speed up the process of dissolving the sugar), add a couple cups of water & the rest of the ingredients to a Vitamix or blender.  Blend until everything is dissolved, which is usually 30 seconds or less.

2.  If using the blender pour the blended ingredients into a pitcher, canning jars, jug, etc. & add the remaining water.  Stir gently, chill, & enjoy!  

Instructions for stirring by hand 

1.  If stirring by hand, add 2 cups or so of water & the other ingredients to your container.  Stir until dissolved.  

2.  Add the remaining water.  Stir gently, chill, & enjoy! 

I find it neater & easier to stir to only add in some of the water at 1st until all of the ingredients are dissolved... doing it this way has saved me a lot of clean-ups especially w/all of my little helpers... trust me on this one!! 

You can drink it right away, but it does taste better if it has time to chill & for the flavors to mesh together.   

What do you usually drink when sick, when the weather is scorching hot, and/or when participating in sports or something else that is taxing to your body??  Do you think you will make this??  The ingredients are sure simple & most of us should have them on hand.  Please check back in with me & let me know how you like it if you make it!