Perfect Whenever You’d Otherwise Drink Gatorade or Pedialyte
by Rebecca Rockefeller
We’ve had a few new reasons to re-hydrate ourselves here recently, both good and bad. Good: We’ve had unusually warm spring weather, perfect for long days of work and play outside. Bad: A fierce but short-lived gastrointestinal virus has been moving through our local schools, which has made for some long nights and lots of extra laundry for local parents.
Luckily, there’s an easy and delicious way to treat simple dehydration whether you’re lucky enough to come by it through exercise and play, or unlucky enough to need some help because of the stomach flu.
Make your own electrolyte replacement drink! There’s no need to buy the sort that comes in single-use plastic bottles, often with artificial colors and flavorings. Recipes for DIY electrolyte drinks abound online, but I believe the original version I use came from Aviva Jill Romm’s Naturally Healthy Babies and Children.
This is a simple recipe with ingredients I always have on hand; this is a good thing since I don’t usually get advance notice that someone is about to start throwing up. If I happen to have fresh lemons in the kitchen, I’ll use those, but I always have a glass bottle of organic lemon juice (not from concentrate – my local grocery store carries this brand at a great price), honey, sea salt, and water available. No plastic bottles, no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners required.
I’ve argued with my ER physician sister about this recipe; she worries that it’s too difficult to get the proportions just right for optimal and safe re-hydration. I don’t doubt that she has a very valid perspective. But when it comes down to it, after garden-variety GI illnesses, I’m more comfortable with these ingredients served in a glass than with the more official version in the plastic bottle from a store. I’m not a doctor, nor do I claim that YOU should use this instead of whatever your own real doctor prescribes for dehydration. I can tell you this has always worked for us without triggering bouts of further intestinal distress, but please consult your own licensed health care provider for medical advice.
DIY Re-Hydration Drink
Note: Honey is not safe for infants under 1 year of age! If you have a sick baby in need of re-hydration, please call your care provider! And if you’re mixing this up for anyone under 1 year of age, use an alternate sweetener such as maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, or coconut sugar.
- 1 quart water
- 2 Tablespoons raw honey
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (use 1/4 teaspoon if your sea salt is finely ground)
Put all ingredients in a large Mason jar or other glass bottle and shake well, until honey and salt are both completely dissolved. I cover the lid of my Mason jar with a piece of waxed paper before I screw the metal lid on, so there’s a barrier between the liquid and the BPA coating on the lid. My kids prefer to drink this at room temperature when they’re feeling sick, but it’s also lovely chilled if you’re dehydrated after time in the sun.
If you’re looking for other Food Less Plastic ideas, visit the “Kitchen and Dining” page in the “Get Inspired” area of our Trash Backwards app – We’ve got recipes for all sorts of basics and treats made more delicious by the fact that they can be made easily without the standard single-use plastic packaging.