Being well hydrated is not all about drinking water but also the foods you eat. Eating fresh, whole, raw, organic fruits and vegetables will help to keep your body hydrated and supply good levels of electrolytes. A high water content fruit or vegetable will provide your body with water in a pure and easily absorbed form.
What are electrolytes and best sources
Electrolytes are minerals that regulate or are involved in vast majority of processes and reactions in the body. Main electrolytes present in our bodies include minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride and potassium. They are found in body fluids (blood, urine, sweat) and have key importance in nerve signal transmission outside and inside the cells. Read more about electrolytes functions here.
Foods high in water and electrolytes include: melons, cucumbers, celery, citrus fruits, berries and fresh coconut juice which is naturally rich in electrolytes. Blend some fresh watermelon with a few cubes of ice and 1-2 mint leaves for a great summer drink. Herbal teas and soups / broths also count as part of the daily water intake.
Start your day on a high note by having a glass or two of warm or room temperature water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice to wake up your digestion and cleanse the liver after sleep. Room temperature water is better if you’re dehydrated as the body can absorb it immediately instead of having to raise the temperature of the water first in order to process it.
Check out this article on why drinking more water is so important for your health and how to drink more water daily.
Homemade electrolyte drinks recipes
Add salt or Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to increase electrolyte levels
It’s helpful for most people (individuals with high blood pressure related to salt metabolism need to be careful) to add a small amount of good quality salt such as Celtic or Himalayan varieties or some ACV to the filtered water. Either of these will help keep the water in your body for longer and not simply flush it through.
ACV’s use in water as a hydrant goes back to ancient times. Have 1 tablespoon of ACV per litre of water. If adding salt, 1/8 teaspoon of salt per litre of water is sufficient for most people.
Adding lemon juice will further enhance water’s bioavailability. Most people are deficient in electrolytes (minerals such as sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate) which regulate the hydration of the body as well as blood pH and are critical for nerve and muscle function.
Both ACV and salt will provide good amount of electrolytes. Having coconut water instead of plain water (or a mix of both) will further enhance electrolytes levels and absorption.
Basic electrolyte rich drink
- 1 litre of filtered water (or coconut water either fresh or a good quality one available at health food shops and supermarkets)
- freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (or both) – 1 lemon and/or lime
- 1 teaspoon of raw honey or organic, sulphur-free molasses for extra minerals and a bit of colour
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt
Blend all ingredients and drink throughout the day. Experiment with proportions and use your taste buds as your guide to adjust the ingredients to what feels right for you. There may be days when your body will want more salt and other days when it will ask for more honey or lemon juice.
Be flexible and adjust accordingly! Depending on your current electrolytes balance and needs, you will make a drink that is tailored for you and your taste buds will help you to do that.
My best rehydration formula
- 1 litre of filtered/ spring water (don’t use tap water, it may have traces of chemicals or pesticides, chlorine or fluoride present)
- ¼ tsp Celtic or Himalayan salt (start with less and adjust as you go)
- 20 drops of colloidal minerals (T.J Clark or Lifesrpings brands in Australia are good quality)
- 15 ml (measure exactly!) of juice (not orange juice) for enhancing internal hydration
- Mix well and drink 1-2 litres per day throughout the day
This formula works very well to quickly reverse dehydration.
Flavoured water recipes
Flavoured waters are great natural electrolyte replacements that can be made to your taste and liking using fruits, vegetables and herbs. I’d like to encourage you to make your own versions of flavoured and coloured water to increase electrolyte levels. Here are a few suggestions to get started:
1.5-2 litres of purified water or coconut water
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced (preferably organic or very a well washed non organic one)
10 spearmint or apple mint leaves
Combine all ingredients in a large glass jug, cover and let flavours blend overnight in the fridge. Strain and drink the entire jug by the end of the day. You also can dilute it with water to your taste and have it over two days (keep the ‘original’ in the fridge).
2 litres of purified water
3-4 strawberries cut in half
4-5 fresh pineapple sage leaves
5 fresh lemon verbena leaves (optional)
½ lemon cut into thin slices
Follow the steps as above. The water will turn a beautiful pink colour and taste and feel very refreshing.
1.5-2 litres of purified water
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
½ lime cut into thin slices
½ lemon cut into thin slices
3-4 fresh mint leaves
Lemon barley water
1.5 litres of water
90g pearl barley
1 tablespoon of honey
Place barley and water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes then strain into a glass jug. Cut the lemons into thin slices, keep the skin on, add to barley water, cover and refrigerate overnight. Strain the mixture the next day and discard the solids.
Add honey and stir to dissolve. Serve chilled with your favourite herbs such as mint, pineapple sage etc.
Barley water soothes gut inflammation and helps in detoxification especially of the kidneys and the bladder. It’s also a great thirst quencher! Please note that lemon barley water contains gluten.
Iced lemon juice
As time saver, juice several lemons and/or limes ahead of time and freeze them in ice cube trays. Keep these in your freezer and simply add a lemon ice cube to a glass of water any time for a quick and easy lemon flavoured water drink.
Use your creativity to come up with different combinations or different ingredients to make your own interesting flavours. Make several jugs each with a different flavoured water if you are having an outdoor party. Or have all ingredients laid out so each person can create their own flavoured water.
So now you know how to drink enough water daily the easy way!
Please do share your ideas with us by leaving a comment below. Thank you!
Read Part 1 of this article here.
Natural and Lifestyle Solutions for Chronic Diseases
Naturopath || Herbalist || Nutritionist || Reiki Practitioner
Check out other posts here:
- Sleep Better Tonight eBook
- How safe is your milk?
- Top 3 herbal teas to feel and look great!
- Top 4 green smoothies for summer
- Top 5 Bliss Balls recipes: gluten free, high protein, no dates
- Apple cider vinegar and raw honey cleansing tonic
Joanna Sochan is a Natural Medicine Practitioner and founder of Naturimedica Holistic Health & Wellness. She has a passion for helping her clients transform their lives by becoming healthy and well naturally. Joanna is an adrenal fatigue, sleep and gut health expert helping tired, stressed or unwell individuals to regain their energy, sleep better and be happier, more relaxed and calm. Joanna practices in Sydney and Lake Macquarie, Australia and also conducts Skype / phone consultations for clients Australia-wide. View full bio.