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DIY electrolyte and mineral drinks

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Calathea, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    This came up in another thread, but I thought it deserved its own thread. Someone asked about the electrolyte drinks I make myself.

    The basic one is only sodium and potassium. I use Nuun tablets for when I'm out and about, or if I just fancy a sweet drink every now and again.

    1. Buy a tub of salt. Sea salt if you like, though I don't think there's a real difference medically (just a mild taste difference which I appreciate in cooking, though that's probably placebo).
    2. Buy a tub of low-sodium salt.
    3. Mix them together, probably in equal quantities, though some low-sodium salts have more potassium than others, and it depends on how much you want. If it's a no-sodium salt i.e. pure potassium chloride, then reduce how much you put it.
    4. Put half a teaspoon into a 800ml/27oz water bottle (metal, please, not plastic). Repeat as needed throughout the day. My cardiologist told me to drink 3l a day, and I'm only a small thing.

    The snag is that this only works if you like the taste of salty water! A few people do, but most don't, it seems.

    If you want to make something fancier, look at the various options of Things You Can Get In Powder form. Possible problems: it might not dissolve, it might taste vile, it might cause your water bottle to get mouldy if you don't wash it often enough, the powder might cake up in the tub and go solid. Here's what I've tried:

    D-ribose - not one I really get on with, but if you do want to use it, that's one option for sweetening the drink. It has a bit of a weird taste to it, and as it's a sugar, there's a mould risk unless you wash your water bottle carefully. I completely failed to wash the water bottle at all for God knows how long, and had a very nasty mould incident one day.

    VItamin C - sour taste, as you'd expect. You don't need much, this one's pretty concentrated. Dissolved fine, but the powder caked up in the tub so I never got to use much of it.

    Magnesium citrate - doesn't dissolve well. I don't remember it tasting of much, perhaps a slight powdery taste?

    Calcium powder (think it was coral calcium - which form is that?) - really not keen on dissolving, and tastes chalky. In small quantites, you may not notice.

    Acetyl L-carnitine - don't remember any problems with this one.

    WIth all of these together, it tastes weird. I spent ages hunting for something to hide the taste in. I eventually hit on a very weird sort of herbal tea, including licorice which seems to go with the salt flavour and is probably good for me anyway. But I didn't like it enough to keep drinking it all day. I probably made it stronger to compensate for only having a mug or two of it, but still, it wasn't great.

    In terms of getting things to dissolve, there may be better forms of the calcium and magnesium. Calcium ascorbate gives you VItamin C and calcium, although it's really not much calcium, as I recall. There are quite a few places selling different varieties of powders by now. I had a look at the bulk powders place listed higher up this thread, and were it not for the extortionate international shipping, would probably have tried a few. Their magnesium glycinate looks promising, for instance. Although having done the calculations, actually I think their magnesium glycinate powder would work out cheaper than the Doctors Best chelated magnesium tablets I'm taking, even though half the cost would be in shipping.

    For other people wanting to drink their minerals, this Mezotrace powder looks relatively cheap, although that's because it's the carbonate versions which aren't ideal. Apart from anything else, I'm low on stomach acid, so I have to stay away from calcium carbonate.

    I'm planning to experiment with malic acid, so I'll be seeing if I can make an interesting drink with that. I might try stevia again. Last time I bought stevia, in liquid form, I thought it tasted vile, but I don't mind it at all in Nuun tablets, and perhaps it's just a matter of finding a nice stevia. Apparently malic acid is good at hiding the bitter aftertaste of sweetener, too. If I manage to make up a nice electrolyte drink this way, it'll probably have less salt in it than my usual salty water, as otherwise it'd end up tasting weird. I'll see what I can manage. I probably won't bother adding the magnesium, calcium or VItamin C, though, as I already get them in tablet form, I'm at bowel tolerance already, and I didn't find them the easiest to work with. Though having one less magnesium horse tablet to swallow might be nice, so perhaps I'll try magnesium glycinate, after hunting down a suitable source.

    When the focus is on calcium, people say to take it with magnesium as it helps absorption. When the focus is on magnesium, people say to take it away from calcium as otherwise the calcium competes for absorption. Meanwhile, I'm planning to take the malic acid with my other mineral supplements, to make up for my low stomach acid and help me absorb the other minerals. And these minerals include calcium citrate two or three times a day (still working that out). At present I take the magnesium at other times, i.e. in tablet form in the other two compartments of my five-compartment daily meds boxes, and put on as an oil after I shower. If I start drinking my magnesium with my other supplements, won't I have the problem of the magnesium being hindered by the calcium being taken at the same time? It's enough of a drag for me to contemplate taking one drink with salt and another drink with malic acid. I am not taking three separate drinks so that I can get my magnesium too!
  2. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Is Jim Jones alive and well on PR?

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    Way too much trouble and like you said, it's salty which I can't tolerate. I use Nuun just because it's easier and gives my water a bit of flavor (I hate water alone).
  3. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    I'm wondering what could be smuggled into smoothies. Mango pulp mixed with milk (soy milk in my case) is delicious, and could perhaps make a good breakfast smoothie, combined with protein powder and such. You could easily hide a bit of magnesium in there.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  4. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    Is there some reason you use a metal water bottle instead of mixing it up in a glass pitcher?

    I mix up my electrolyte drink in a glass pitcher and store it in the refrigerator to chill. Then I use it up within 24 hours (that's probably on the conservative side, might be okay to keep it longer than that). I guess some people need a portable container?

    I use my water bottle for water only. I drink the electrolyte mix when I'm at home. Maybe I'm not outside as much as you are so that's why this method works for me? I drink about 2 liters water and one liter of this electrolyte drink (different ratio of sodium/potassium than yours, I think, but don't have my recipe handy right now).

    I have used powdered dextrose (aka, glucose -- less sweet than table sugar, by the way) to cut the saltiness of the electrolyte mix. From what I've read the body can absorb dextrose/glucose a lot more easily than table sugar (sucrose) and other sweeteners. That's why glucose is used in oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte. But when you mix your own drink you can use a lot less.

    This is a bit rambling but no time to edit it now. I hope this is helpful for someone out there.
    Cwh likes this.
  5. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    Yeah, you don't really need the sugar. That's for people who are having severe diarrhoea and can't keep food down. We get then sugar from our food.

    I'm not alert enough to be safe with a glass every time I need a drink, so I use a metal water bottle instead. No breakages, very few spills. I'm not out that much, and when I am, I use a Nuun tablet. I wouldn't be able to lift a glass pitcher either. I have enough trouble with the water bottle some days!
  6. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    I know, that's what most folks say, and I think it's true. And yet it seems to work better for me if I add a spoon of glucose to the mix. It's probably because many nights I'm too tired to eat at all and a liter of this electrolyte mix is my dinner.

    I'm not skipping dinner to reduce calories or lose weight. I only skip dinner when I'm completely out of energy and just not feeling hungry at all.

    And I also sleep better on those nights that I skip dinner. I think I'm opposite of most people on the forums who say they need a snack right before bedtime.

    That makes sense! Better to be safe and use a metal bottle if you might break a glass pitcher.

    I dropped a glass bowl (small prep bowl for ingredients) in the kitchen sink a few weeks back. Glass shattered everywhere. It was a mess. The energy that I used to clean it up knocked me out for days. Not fun.

    But somehow a keeping drinking glass next to my chair works okay for me. I actually spill more water when I drink from my water bottle (e.g., when I take it with me in the car) than drinking from a glass.

    I did learn years ago not to use a water glass with a stem. They can be top heavy, very easy to tip! I use tumbler type of glass with an extra heavy glass bottom. It has never tipped even if I accidentally brushed into it.

    Look, here I am rambling on again! :rolleyes: When will I ever learn? :D

    Take care.
    peggy-sue likes this.
  7. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I take both calcium and magnesium, for the magnesium.
    I take the Ca to stop the Mg leaching calcium out from my bones, I'm past "the change" and need to be careful about my bones though.

    Ther was one proprietary brand of rehydration salts I accidentally found to help my ME. It was something left over from a holiday Michael had had, so it was just lying around the house.

    I used it on a day I was going to be "overdoing" myself madly, and I found I wasn't nearly as bad as I thought I might be aftrwards and it reduced the PEM later.

    It is Spanish, it is called "Recuperation" - and I later read a study which confirmed that this particular brand was good.
    It contains approximately
    Sodium Citrate 518mg
    Potasium Chloride140mg
    Calcium Phosphate10mg
    Magnesium Carbonate 10mg
    glucose 6g
    fructose 5g.

    Citric acid for acidity regulator and flavour.

    This is for the contents of one pouch, to be made up in 500 mls of water.

    However, the mgs I have quoted are for total mgs of the relevant metal.
    When I read another list of ingredients, I disvover there is Sodium Chloride in it too, so the sodium must be a mix of both
  8. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    I calculated how much sodium and potassium are in my mix, I'll copy it in later.

    Sugar thing - interesting, and a good point, since plenty of us are skipping meals or having trouble keeping food down. If you read up on Intermittent Fasting, that might explain why you feel better without supper, since some people do function better on that sort of pattern. I'm definitely not one of them!
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  9. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I function all day on two mugs of coffee (it used to be 6).
    I can only eat late at night, and it doesn't suit me at all to eat more than once a day.

    I did persevere for 5 months, trying to eat some yoghurt for breakfast, then a something for lunch mid afternoon and something more later.
    It was awful!
    I couldn't function at all after eating, and I put a whole load of weight on.
    I decided then that "conventional wisdon" about "keeping your sugar levels up" is a load of nonsense that does not apply to me.
    We evolved as omnivores, we can cope with "feast and famine" conditions. That's how we survived as a species.
  10. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    Quick note: my electrolyte mix gives me 213mg sodium and 141mg potassium per 250ml glass, though sometimes I make it up a bit stronger than that. Nuun (half a tablet for a glass of that size) gives you 172.5mg sodium and 50.5mg potassium, plus a few other bits and bobs. I hadn't realised mine was weighted that heavily towards potassium, actually. Hmm, should I change the ratio a bit?
  11. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    I've slung more sea salt into my sodium/potassium mix, and the malic acid has arrived. At present, I've determined that a mix of four parts malic acid to one part salt mix (1/8 tsp malic acid and 1/32 tsp salt mix - those mini measuring spoons are being useful again) plus a bit of agave syrup (didn't measure) in a 300ml mug of cold water is really quite nice. I've just ordered some NOW stevia. Last time I tried stevia I hated it, but reviews say this is a nice one, and malic acid apparently cuts the bitterness, so I'm looking forwards to trying it. I don't want to put any actual sugars into my water bottle, I'm waiting for the stevia for that.
    peggy-sue likes this.
  12. SDSue

    SDSue Florida

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    Just got my Nuun. How many are you taking per day?
  13. SDSue

    SDSue Florida

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    I wonder how many have similar issues? I simply can't eat until late afternoon. It's all I can do to get in a cup of coffee and enough water to satisfy the POTS gods lol. I've never been a fan of food and always preferred small snacks over large meals.
  14. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Is Jim Jones alive and well on PR?

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    I actually forgot about mine. Haha. I use 1/2 at time in a bottle of water. Sometimes a whole one. I don't have pots so it was more of trying to perk me up.

    I think I"ll go grab one and see if it helps. I feel like a slug today.

    I think iHerb or Amazon has bulk containers which is cheaper if you want to use more but these are so easy. There's a guy on ebay who sells the NUUN pretty cheap too.
  15. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Is Jim Jones alive and well on PR?

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  16. SDSue

    SDSue Florida

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  17. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Is Jim Jones alive and well on PR?

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    I don't ever eat sugar, don't even have any. I know nothing about D-ribose. I'm like you. I'm sick of taking fistfuls of supplements and not noticing anything.
    SDSue likes this.
  18. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    I add a little fruit juice to my electrolyte solution. It improves the taste and provides a little sugar.

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