Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Overheating and Homemade Electrolytes

Two weeks ago I had a young man working for me in the garden, weeding and hauling new mulch for the beds. It was a hot, still day (hot here means temps in the upper 80's) and within an hour his face was beet red and he was sweating profusely. I made him sit in the shade with a cool cloth on the back of his neck but he continued to feel dizzy and nauseated. I finally realized he was drinking LOTS of water, flushing out the various salts the body needs for normal function. I took him home, but wished my pantry held some kind of electrolytes.

This time of the year finds many couch potatoes out in the garden, over-exerting and upsetting their electrolyte balance. Gatorade and/or Pedialyte are good to have on hand, but a simple solution may be easily made at home.

Electrolyte Solution
1 quart water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. Lite Salt (which is a salt and potassium chloride blend, or use regular salt if that's all you have)
6-10 teaspoons granulated sugar
(For flavor and color you might add half a package of unsweetened Kool-Aid*)

Mix well. Store in refrigerator for up to one week. Freeze some in ice trays or as popsicles to use later.
Helps replace lost electrolytes due to dehydration (diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating). Do not give to small children, instead seek medical advice.

This is not meant to be medical advice for anyone.

*The "unsweetened" form of Kool Aid contains fruit flavoring, citric acid, calcium phosphate, salt and Vitamin C. The "sugar sweetened" mix adds sugar, sodium citrate, and the preservative BHA. The "sugar free" mixes add aspartame (Nutrasweet) and acesulfame potassium.

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