During the summer months, our son and daughter are busy participating in a lot of outdoor activities, and we are constantly reminding them to drink and stay hydrated. As much as we love drinking water in our household, sometimes a good electrolyte drink is needed to replace the minerals lost in sweat. Unfortunately, when I took a good look at the ingredient lists on two of our favorite electrolyte drinks, I was disgusted.
According to foodfacts.com (n.d.), Gatorade Frost Lemon-Lime Flavored Thirst Sports Drink had the following 10 ingredients:
“Water, Sucrose Syrup, Glucose Fructose Syrup, Citric Acid, Flavors Natural & Artificial Lime, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Monopotassium Phosphate, Ester Gum, Yellow 5.”
Yellow Five has been a controversial food additive. “Many allergic reactions have been reported due to prolonged use of the dye such as worsened asthma symptoms, skin rashes, and urticaria. Those intolerant of aspirin are highly recommended to avoid this additive. The dye has been banned in Norway, Austria, and Germany, but not all of Europe since it would affect many food businesses economically” (foodfacts.com, n.d.).
Our second favorite electrolyte drink, Orange Pedialyte Oral Electrolyte Maintenance Solution Fruit Ready to Feed Liters, had these 12 ingredients: “Water, Dextrose, Contains 2% or less of the following:(Citric Acid, Flavors Natural & Artificial, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Zinc Gluconate, Yellow 6)” Yellow six “is the third-most-widely used dye, but evidence shows that the manufacturing process used to create the dye can also result in the production of a carcinogenic red dye called Sudan 1. Sudan 1 is a dye commonly found in solvents, oils, waxes, petrol, and shoe and floor polishes. If consumed, Sudan 1 can damage cellular DNA, or genetic material, to cause tumors” (foodfacts.com, n.d.).
Another ingredient that frightens me is Acesulfame Potassium. Acesulfame Potassium is “also seen as Acesulfame K, Ace-K, Sunett, or Sweet One, Acesulfame Potassium is a sugar substitute that is 200 times sweeter than table sugar. It is used as a flavor enhancer and sweetener for foods. It is a low calorie food ingredient because our bodies do not metabolize it. Acesulfame K also is not consumed by bacteria so it does not contribute to tooth decay as sugar does. However, methylene chloride is used for the production of Acesulfame K, which also is used as a propellant, degreaser, and paint stripper. There are many side effects with consumption of Acesulfame K, including increased risk for cancer, triggering chronic respiratory disease, or abnormal cravings for sweets” (foodfacts.com, n.d.).
Needless to say, we no longer purchase these two products, and our family now makes our own homemade electrolyte drink. It does not as taste exactly like Gatorade or Pedialyte, but it is palatable and provides carbohydrate, sodium, and potassium, with only 4-5 ingredients!
For every 8 ounces of distilled/filtered water or organic coconut water (more potassium), add:
- 2 teaspoons of organic honey or 4 teaspoons of organic cane sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt
- 1 drop of Young Living Lemon and Lime essential oils, or 1 drop of Young Living Orange essential oil