Living in the Texas gulf area means we have about nine months of summer each year. And I’m a person who likes to work out – swim team practice three times a week, plus some running, biking, and the occasional extra workout, so I lose a lot of sweat. I have found that if I hydrate with an electrolyte drink before, during, and after a workout, I feel more energetic during a workout, I don’t get pesky leg cramps, I bounce back faster after a workout, and I even sleep better at night. My personal favorite drink mix is NUUN tablets. They are so delicious and easy to use, but at $.36 – $.45 per tab, it was costing $15 or more a month for me to drink. I wondered if I could create my own version for less money. Using the NUUN nutritional information as a guide, I developed my own DIY drink.
The initial investment for me was around $30. In our house, an electrolyte drink is a staple for almost daily use as well as when someone gets a stomach bug or a cold (which has happened a lot this past year!), so for me it was worth the investment. If you work out frequently, you may also benefit from using an electrolyte replacement drink. You can read more about what electrolytes are and why they are important by reading this.
Lemon Juice (or the equivalent in concentrate)
Liquid B-12 ($5.79 from Sundown on Amazon) *optional
Magnesium ($12.96 from Bulk Supplements on Amazon)
Potassium (No Salt – around $9 at the grocery store. Look for it next to the regular table salt)
Tiny measuring spoons (1/8 – 1/64 teaspoon)
Gather your supplies, and then figure out what you want to do for the base water in regards to flavoring. I personally do not flavor my electrolyte water – I just add the minerals and lemon juice to plain water. As much as I love the way NUUN water tastes, I’ve found that I actually like just the slightly salty tasting water too. But if you know you need some flavor, then look through the following options and choose one to try.
- Brew 32 ounces of tea – Hibiscus tea is awesome for this, as are green tea and various herbal teas
- Use 100% Juice, or Veggie/Fruit Juice – preferably diluted 50/50 with water
- If you must, you can use some Koolaid or Crystal Light powder, but you might want to try one of the healthier options first
- If you feel this needs sweetener – make it and taste it first – you can add the sweetener of your choice
Once you have your liquid base mixed and ready, get out your adorably tiny measuring spoons and measure the following into the water.
– 32 ounces water (flavoring optional)
– Juice from two lemons (omit if you use juice as your liquid)
– .5 mL B-12 (a half dropper)
– 1 drop Magnesium
– 1 pinch + 1 smidgen Table Salt
– 1 pinch + 1 smidgen Baking Soda
– 1 pinch Potassium
Measure conversions: 1 pinch = 1/16 teaspoon, 1 smidgen = 1/32 teaspoon, 1 drop = 1/64 teaspoon
Cap and shake the water and let it sit for at least a few minutes before drinking it. I like to mix mine the night before and let it chill in the fridge overnight. I tend to drink 32 ounces of this per day, plus a little more on days when I know I have lost a lot of sweat.
I’ve also found that gathering these supplies and doing lots of measuring is pretty time-intensive, so I mix up a bunch of servings at once and store them in a couple of locking pill organizers. That way, I just have to open one of the compartments and dump the powdered contents into my water, and I only do the measuring every few weeks.
With the supplies I bought, I can make 1,000 32-ounce servings before they run out (with the exception of the B-12 liquid, which is optional). Since these ingredients expire in three years, they’ll probably expire before I run out. $30 for a three-year, daily supply of NUUN equivalent is pretty great, if you ask me.
*A note about Magnesium – I have taken magnesium supplements for years and in my experience, the glycinate form is the best because other forms tend to cause digestive discomfort. Since I also take a serving of the magnesium each night I bought the form that I need to keep on hand since this package will last me a long time. And I take a 1/4 teaspoon serving each night before bed, which I highly recommend for anyone who has trouble getting to sleep.