A few days ago Cora had a high fever, and someone suggested I give her some Pedialyte. Apparently, it’s the go to, pediatrician-recommended solution for dehydration in children. Although she didn’t end up needing anything, it send me down the rabbit hole on this and other “thirst quenchers”. It became clear that most of them contain a dose of artificial dyes, synthetic emulsifiers, and artificial sweeteners.
I’m not saying that these drinks don’t help restore electrolytes, but for me there are better options.
Keep it Simple
In countries where people can’t just run to the grocery story and pick up a bottle of Pedialyte, the World Health Organization recommends this simple oral rehydration solution:
“Give the child a drink made with 6 level teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 level teaspoon of salt dissolved in 1 litre of clean water. Be very careful to mix the correct amounts. Too much sugar can make the diarrhea worse. Too much salt can be extremely harmful to the child. Making the mixture a little too diluted (with more than 1 litre of clean water) is not harmful.” – Source Rehydration Project
If you don’t want to use sugar, you can consider substituting honey if the child is over one years old. I’ve also seen the same basic recipe but with juice or even just some fresh lemon added.
A cooler filled with the orange stuff is pretty much ubiquitous at every kids sports game these days. But why oh why does it have to include artificial dyes, and sugary syrups?
As a much healthier alternative, a lot of athletes are swearing by coconut water. It contains electrolytes, natural sources of sodium and more potassium (equal to four bananas) than sports drinks. During World War II, coconut water was reportedly given intravenously to people when regular IV saline solution was in short supply. If you don’t like the taste just add some lemon or orange juice and it’s perfect. Downside is that organic, raw, reputable coconut water (I get mine at Harmless Harvest), can be pricy. You can buy it in packs of 12 here. Or see if a store near you carries it by searching the map.
Not ready for the coconut juice yet? Here is another version that I’ve used three days ago when my husband Jon, got a really bad leg cramp. In Jon’s case he had been working outside a lot and this really helped restore some of those vital nutrients.
It’s simple, inexpensive and the kids will love it too. Now get out there and play ball!!
- 1 quart of liquid (water, coconut water or even herbal tea)
- ¼ tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
- ¼ cup or more of real fruit juice for flavor (optional)
- 1 crushed up calcium magnesium tablet (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp sweetener (optional) - can use honey, stevia, etc.
- Brew tea if using herbal tea as a base
- Add sea salt and calcium magnesium
- Add juice and mix or shake well
- Keep refrigerated and use within two days
Note for above recipe: My favorite combination is lemon balm tea as the base, salt, orange juice, calcium tablet and honey. I get my lemon balm here.
1) The Truth About Artificial Food Dyes. on dyediet.com
2) Side Effects of Gatorade. on Med-Health.net
I like to give credit where credit is due. Here are some articles that influenced me:
Thanks for reading, and of course I’d love to hear about your recipes and alternatives to the Gatorades and Powerades of the world.
Your Woman Gone Wild,