Friday, July 31, 2009

Training-Staying Hydrated

I like reading blogs. Some have beautiful pictures and interesting stories and you become privy to things about people you don't even know and will most likely never know. And sometimes you can learn things, too.

While training for my trek across Spain along the Camino de Santiago, I have been doing lots of walking and hiking. I know how important it is to keep my electrolytes balanced. Plain water, as good as it is for us, doesn't adequately rehydrate the body. So, I have been spending lots of money on electrolyte products, mostly the ones that come in individual packets that are easy to carry in my pack and add to my water bottle. Most taste horrid, but I know I need them, so I drink them.

Well, one of the bloggers that I read posted this. It not only reminds us how dangerous and deadly it can be if we don't take rehydration seriously. It gives some helpful tips on how to prevent problems. Visit Timecheck's blog and read this informative post.

After reading it, I googled "homemade electrolyte drink" and found thousands of links to recipes.

So, I went out and got all the ingredients and mixed up a batch. Surprisingly it tastes so much better than the electrolyte packets I have been buying. And, it's much cheaper.

Here's the recipe:

1 quart water
Tang, use measurement on container for 1 quart
1/2 tsp sea salt (sea salt has minerals not found in table salt)
1/4 tsp. Litesalt (which is potassium based)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
*optional juice of 1 lemon, for flavor(lemon has natural electrolytes)

Mix all ingredients well and put in your sports bottle. Drink throughout your hike or workout.
DO NOT give this drink to children under 12 yrs old. But, if you google "homemade Pedialyte drink", you will find a very similar rehydrating drink for children.
And those on any type of medication should consult their doctor before trying this drink.

Most of the recipes I found on the net called for 4 tablespoons of sugar(in the above recipe), but Timecheck had told me he used Tang in place of the sugar. Tang adds a nice orange flavor and from what I understand it is the only drink the astronauts use on their space trips. So, I guess if it is good enough for the astronauts, it's good enough for me.

Happy Trails


  1. Rita…one caveat on the potassium based "lite" salt—it may dangerous to some folks with certain kinds of heart problems or those taking a diuretic (water pill). While they may be healthy enough for strenuous activities, they need to check with their prescribing doctors first to make sure even a slight boost in potassium won't cause serious conflicts.

  2. Rita, I noticed that your recipe was for 1 quart while ours was for 2 quarts, so I went back to the Kaiser source to see what they said - once more they have changed it, and you are closer to their recommendation than our recipe. Kaiser:
    12. Measure all ingredients precisely. Small variations can make the drink less effective or even harmful. Mix the following:

    * 1 quart (950 ml) water
    * ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) baking soda
    * ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) table salt, or ¼ teaspoon (1.25 g) salt substitute (such as "Lite Salt," which is potassium-based)
    * 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 g) sugar
    and keep Grizzled's warning in mind.

  3. Hi Grizzled
    Thanks for that warning. I didn't know that. You learn something every day!!!
    I have had problems with low potassium in the past, so I am always looking for foods or drink with potassium.

  4. Hi Timecheck
    Thank you for adding the original recipe above. I am thinking about Grizzled's warning and will certainly read up on it. But as I said in my response to him, I run low on potassium, so I look for foods and drink with potassium.
    But, maybe it would be wise to just use sea salt or table salt and leave out the Litesalt altogether.
    Any thoughts on that??

  5. Rita…the problem is some meds cause you to store potassium, though having too little potassium is probably the more usual case. Also, a lot of multi-vitamins contain potassium—so a person could be taking a vitamin plus certain meds, and still be within normal ranges, or have their meds adjusted to take the increase into account—and not knowing, they boost their potassium, which could then cause a problem.

    I don't want this to sound overly scary. That potassium salt is in there because sweating a lot—as you do when walking or running or exerting—strips potassium from the body. It just that some meds come with a "no salt substitute" warning, because those meds cause you to retain potassium. The folks who shouldn't be adding potassium likely know who they are.

  6. Grizzled..You are so right, thee are those out there on meds that have to be cautious about these things. Lucky for me I don't take any meds, but I did modify my post to add a caution about those on meds. I don't need anyone getting sick on my account.

  7. Hi Rita, thanks for your visit! You are quite an expert on healthy food and drink, I think. I am not familiar with that kind of stuff, I am afraid, though I know that I should be so.

  8. Hi Reader Wil
    No, not an expert, but I am trying to learn what is best to stay in condition for my long trek. and generally just trying to stay healthy.

  9. Rita, your post and recipe were interesting and the discussion by your well-informed readers interesting too. It never occurred to me that you could make your own Gatorade. I think I'll give it a try.

  10. Hi Michaelle
    I love it when I learn something new like this. And now that it has been shared and appreciated by many, it makes it even nicer.
    Have a great day!

  11. Hi Rita, I just found your comment on my blog I think your blog is absolutely wonderful. I love how you are exploring your pre-Camino concerns. Your photographs are beautiful and I especially loved the opening one with a "field of stars"! It reminded me of Oliver and his Camino violin music: Track 1 called Field of Stars. You can find information on Oliver and listen to the track in the following sites:

    And in:

    Have a wonderful journey and write to me at if you have any questions!

    Buen Camino,

    Monday, 03 August, 2009

  12. Hi Clarisa
    I enjoyed reading your Camino blog. It keeps me inspired and motivated to read blogs of people who have walked the Camino or are walking it now.
    And I am learning from them, so many things that I need to know. I walk in September. Can't wait!!

  13. Rita, thanks for this recipe! It will be much appreciated along the HOT Via de la Plata!

    See you in Santiago, Peregrina!

  14. Such a great idea to make your own. I so enjoy that you will be taking this trek, it will be wonderful on so many levels.


  15. Hi Annie
    I am glad you like the recipe. It has been a big hit with many people. I am certainly enjoying it.
    Good luck on your Pilgrimage. Maybe we will meet up in Santiago!!
    Buen Camino!!

  16. Hi Tammie Lee, Tahnk you. I am very excited about and I know it will be a great experience spiritually. It is a big undertaking at my age, and I knwo it will be physically grueling, but I am up for the task ;)
    I hope you stop by and check on my progress while I am walking
    Have a wonderful day.

  17. I didn't even know they still sold Tang. Haven't seen it in years! :) I remember drinking it as a kid thinking it was cool to drink something the astronauts had on the Moon. BTW, I think they have other choices for drinks in space these days. ;)

  18. DG

    Hi DG
    Yup they not only still sell it. They sell it in Spain, so I may not mind carrying the extra weight.
    Just checked out your blog. I see you will be a week ahead of me on the Camino.
    Buen Camino

  19. You may catch up with me. I'm going to go a bit slow the first week or so as I haven't had time to train as much as I'd like. I'm still considering going over the mountain in one day. yoiks!

  20. DG
    The good thing is you have the option to stop Orrison if you should decide that it is too much for one long haul.
    I had planned on starting a week earlier, but when my husband decided to join me for the first 12 days of walking, we had to change the date to accomodate his schedule.
    You could always leave little notes for me along the way ;)
    Have a wonderful trip.