DIY Electrolyte Drink

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The ingredients for the DIY Electrolyte Drink.

Sometimes rehydration is more important than fueling, especially in the summer. If you want a low calorie electrolyte you can buy Nuun tablets or similar options, these are a little pricy and don't contain enough sodium. Electrolyte Capsules should be a last resort, as they have a number of problems. A better and cheaper option is to make your own electrolyte drink. I've used this recipe successfully at the Keys 100 and Badwater. The recipe is based on The Science Of Hydration and Practical Hydration advice.

1 Ingredients

Ingredient Quantity Notes
Water Required 32oz/1Litre
Salt (regular table salt) Required 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 to 3.0g) Provides 500-1,000mg Sodium
Sugar free singles Optional & recommended 1 packet intended for 16oz/500ml Improving the taste increases fluid intake. �Diluting with twice the water works because the salt increases the flavor
No Salt (Potassium Chloride) Conditionally required & recommended 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon (0.6 to 1.3g) Under most circumstances a normal diet will provide plenty of potassium, but under extreme situations (running an ultra in hot weather), some extra potassium can be valuable.
Choline Citrate Optional and not in all fluids 1/4 teaspoon There is some evidence that choline becomes depleted in the brain during exercise. (Do not use Choline Bitartrate is it causes digestive problems.)
Taurine Optional and not in all fluids 1/4 teaspoon There's a possibility that adding some Taurine might help performance.

I limit my intake of Choline and Taurine to a few of my drinks on a given run. For instance, at Badwater I only had Choline and Taurine every 10 miles or so.

2 Relationship to Go Juice

You can add more salt to this drink than you can to Fellrnr's Go Juice as the extra ingredients in the Go Juice compete for absorption (more precisely they increase the osmotic pressure). Also, Fellrnr's Go Juice contains a lot of calories, sometimes more than you want if you're just trying to rehydrate.

3 See Also

If you want to know more about hydration and why the extra salt is required, read Practical Hydration and for the underlying science read The Science Of Hydration.