Baby it’s Hot outside: Homemade healthy “sports” drink!

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Something good and cold for when it is nice and hot!

Homemade Healthy Electrolyte Replacement Drink

Today I started serving my jury duty in the local county criminal courts and so I am just rushing to get a post up for Hearth and Soul and let you all know I am unavailable! They have two computers in the central jury room and they are always busy!

Because it is so blazing hot here this week, with temperatures approaching 100 and no, it is not a dry heat, but we are very dry with little rain in the last month or so, I started thinking about how different cultures deal with the heat and it is almost unanimous that cultures the world over deal with the heat in a completely different way than the typical western nation. While we chug the iced tea and turn on the air conditioners, those in traditionally tropical cultures eat spicy peppers and firey spices and even drink hot tea! Seems a complete contradiction!

When I asked my dad, who is a doctor and spent time living in Vietnam, why hot places like hot spices he told me the reason is quite simple. Hot spices open up the pores and when the pores are open and sweating is induced then the body is cooled by evaporation and the core temperature does go down. Of course the difference might not seem appreciable, but hundreds of years ago no one had air conditioning or ice in the summer so even a few degrees of change made a big difference. This is also why most cultures chose to sleep during the heat of the day in the form of the “siesta” so as not to expend too much energy during the worst part of the heat and over stressing the system. Watch the animals during a day of heat and all of them will seek shade and sleep during the hours the sun is at its peak.

I remember visiting my sister-in-law in the midwest one sweltering summer and staying in her farm house with no air conditioning. She wiped her kids down with hot wash cloths and I thought she was crazy, but it really did work to open the pores and keep folks a bit cooler, especially when standing in front of a regular fan!

That is all well and good but during the heat, no matter how you try and keep cool, you are losing large amounts of fluid from your body and if you dehydrate, you will start down the slippery slope to heat stroke, which is not at all fun! Drinking plenty of water is a good idea, but if you have really exerted yourself, it is always a good idea to replenish your electrolytes.

Electrolytes are very minute amounts of minerals and organic salts that help to keep your blood balanced. Losing a lot of fluids and then replacing them rapidly the electrolytes can go out of balance and that can cause serious symptoms in the body and in extreme cases it can cause death. Some folks do not believe in the artificial “sports” drinks that tout electrolyte replacement as a good thing, and I would agree that they are not the best choice. The good news is there are many ways you can replenish your electrolytes in the heat and one way is making your own “sports” drink that tastes great and is really frugal to make, saving you tons over the commercial electrolyte replacement drinks!

Healthy Hot Weather Cooler

1 Gallon filtered water

2 Tbs. black strap organic molasses

2 tsp organic sea salt

1/2 Cup 100% fruit juice such as grape, cherry, blueberry or your favorite OR

1/4 Cup lemon or lime juice or more or less to taste.

Honey to taste

In a small bowl or bottle mix up the fruit juice, molasses and sea salt and shake or stir until well dissolved. This may take a few minutes as the molasses dissolves in the liquid. Using a funnel, pour the mixture into the water container and then shake well. Taste and adjust the sweetness with some honey. Children will want this a bit sweeter and the honey masks the stronger flavor of the molasses. I also find that berry and grape juices are more favored by the kids in the sports drink. I like to make this with the lemon juice because lemon is a natural mucous thinner and also supports flushing of the kidneys. I like to make it less sweet so it is more refreshing and cooling. Drink as desired.

The molasses contains many trace minerals and salts such as potassium, calcium and magnesium which will help balance your electrolytes along with the natural sea salt. Honey also contains many key ingredients for hot weather health! To replenish electrolytes you can also eat a piece of fruit such as an apple and a piece of vegetable like celery or carrots. Drinking a cup of bone stock will also help, but remember if it is very salty you should drink more water.

Also note that if you drink a lot of Kombucha you should be drinking a lot of water, and especially in the summer when it is very hot, as Kombucha can be dehydrating as it is a very cleansing and detoxifying tonic.

So, stay out of the heat as best you can and remember to drink plenty of fluids! Let’s hope the weather moderates soon and we get some rain, until then, I think I will use a parasol!

This post is a part of the hearth and soul hop volume 57.

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