What’s more refreshing than a nice, cool glass of lemonade? Ok, well I’m sure there are plenty of other things we could think of, but seriously, for a girl like me who loves just about all things lemon, it’s definitely at the top of my list.
Unfortunately, more often than not, most lemonade we find is often loaded with sugar or poor sugar substitutes, artificial colors and ingredients and lacks the benefits of, well, real lemons. And it generally doesn’t contain much in the way of electrolytes.
I originally found this recipe when I changed my eating protocol a few years ago, thanks to Leanne Vogel of Healthful Pursuit, and it was a lifesaver in helping to refresh and balance my system as it was adapting to the metabolic shift I was endeavoring. I’ll start my day with a small glass to kick-start and rehydrate my body after a long night without fluids, take it hiking with me or sip on it afterward as recovery, when I’m not feeling up to par, or just throughout the day, anytime.
You may be wondering what happens to your body and why electrolytes are important?
As we all know, the body needs water to survive. But with that, we also need electrolytes to help our cells properly move that water around AND provide the nerve impulses that make our bodies function, like your heart beating, lungs breathing, brain thinking, muscles contracting and relaxing and the many other operations the body requires. Yeah, kind of important tasks.
Electrolytes come from minerals, mostly found in the foods we eat, or are hopefully eating. Unfortunately, many of us don’t get the minerals we need, much less the proper amount, due to poor food quality found in much of today’s SAD (Standard American Diet). This has led to numerous health challenges that we’ve seen increase, many of which could be rectified with lifestyle modifications.
One easy way to help optimize that is with proper fluid and mineral intake, but take note of the key word here which is “proper”, meaning not too little but not excessive as more is not always better and too much can either flush your system OR create an imbalance and send your body haywire. However since most people tend to have deficiencies, one would really have to go nuts to overdo, but just be aware.
Before you go stocking up on the usual popular store brands of sports drinks and electrolyte beverages in bottles and powders, which are usually full of sugar and artificial ingredients (but in case of emergency, hey do what you gotta do!), give this homemade recipe a try! The ingredients are not only refreshing, but contain a variety of natural vitamins and minerals to help keep your body humming along.
Of course, this is my customized version and a is little bit different from Leanne’s original recipe, but I must give her credit for the original. Note the aloe, magnesium and collagen are all options but really provide an added boost. Try just one or two if you can and see how you like it or feel. Play around with the ingredients and make it your own too. Ok, on to the recipe!
4 c. filtered water OR
3 c. filtered water plus 1 c. coconut water (my favorite version!)
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice (about 2-4 lemons’ worth)
1-2 T. pure aloe vera juice OR pure aloe vera gel, inner filet (I use Lily of the Desert), optional but I highly recommend for its nutritional and gut-soothing properties
1/4 tsp. finely ground pink Himalayan salt
1 tsp. magnesium powder (lemon or your favorite flavored or plain), optional
1 scoop collagen powder, optional (adds a little protein and also soothing to the gut)
4-10 drops liquid stevia OR to taste, optional (go easy and taste test especially if using coconut water and flavored magnesium)
Place all ingredients in a container and mix together. If using magnesium powder, be aware that it will bubble until it dissolves so use a large enough container so it doesn’t overflow.
Store in the refrigerator, preferably in glass, like a mason jar and let sit for a bit to chill.
Serve over ice with fresh mint leaves or berries (muddled or pretty for display) and a thin slice of lemon if you like and sip leisurely or take with you during outdoor sports and adventures. You can also freeze this in ice cube trays for easy, long-lasting storage OR make popsicles as a fun treat for the whole family! Great for little ones (and the whole family) when they’re sick. :