Last Updated on June 22, 2023
An electrolyte drink is a beverage that contains water, sugar, and minerals like sodium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals are called electrolytes.
In this article, you’ll discover the benefits of electrolyte drinks, if they are suitable to consume while intermittent fasting, and we even give you an easy DIY homemade electrolyte drink recipe.
Benefits of electrolyte drinks
Electrolytes are essential for bodily functions, because they:
- Help the nerves, muscles, heart, and brain to function.
- Rehydrate your body
- Balance your body’s acid/base (pH) level
- Move nutrients into your cells
- Move wastes out of your cells
That’s why consuming fluids that contain a high amount of electrolytes (minerals) is important for your body to carry out these functions properly.
The sugar in electrolyte drinks is also important to help you absorb the water and to replenish your glycogen stores. That’s why sugar-free electrolyte drinks may not give the same energy pump.
Who should drink electrolyte drinks?
We get the idea that electrolyte drinks are definitely beneficial. But are they really necessary for everybody?
First things first: electrolyte drinks are ideal for athletes and anyone who works out regularly, as these beverages are perfect for post-workout recovery. And that’s because prolonged workout sessions are very likely to empty your glycogen – in other words, your energy stores.
If you’re doing physical activity for longer than 60 minutes a day, you may want to consider drinking electrolyte drinks.
They are also beneficial when you lose a high amount of water through sweating in hot temperatures. Sometimes, electrolyte drinks can also be helpful during illnesses like vomiting or diarrhea, where your body loses a lot of water.
If you have the following symptoms, your body might not be hydrating properly:
- dry mouth
- dry skin
- dark colored urine
In this case, drinking electrolyte drinks might be useful as a quick solution for rehydrating your body.
Homemade electrolyte drink recipe
Two of the best-known electrolyte drinks are mineral water and coconut water, but if you’re looking for a tastier, DIY electrolyte drink recipe that you make yourself at home, here are two delicious examples.
- 16-32 oz mineral water
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- ¼ cup sliced cucumber
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- A dash of stevia
- ½ teaspoon salt (for sodium)
- 400 mg potassium chloride powder (for potassium)
- ¼ teaspoon of magnesium malate (for magnesium)
- 2 cups water (filtered or purified or raw coconut water)
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink salt
Both of the recipes are for one serving. Mix the ingredients and drink as soon as you can for quick hydration and an energy pump!
Can I drink electrolyte drinks while intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting’s fasting window is a period when you don’t consume any foods or caloric beverages. Anything that has calories can start the digestion process in your body and can break your fast.
That’s why electrolyte drinks that contain sugar, sweeteners, or any kind of fruit juice will break your fast. If an electrolyte drink doesn’t contain any of these ingredients, it may be safe to consume during intermittent fasting.
Bear in mind that drinking water is the safest option to hydrate your body if you’re worried about breaking your fast.
To sum up
While an electrolyte drink is very useful when there’s a need for a quick energy and hydration pump, it can’t take the place of balanced nutrition and drinking 2-3 liters of water a day.
If you are experiencing symptoms of dehydration and the symptoms don’t go away despite consuming an electrolyte drink, you should consult a medical professional without delay.