DIY Electrolyte Replacement Drink
Perfect Whenever You’d Otherwise Drink Gatorade or Pedialyte
My oldest daughter came home with a stomach bug the other day. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to deal with the sorrow and laundry that come along with a puking virus, and luckily this one was short-lived. After one miserable night, her stomach was settled enough to handle liquids, and she was in need of re-hydration.
Years ago, when my girls were smaller and more prone to gastrointestinal bugs, my friend Apron Thrift Girl gave me a recipe for homemade oral re-hydration liquid, aka “homemade Pedialyte.” This was a life-saver for us, since my girls won’t drink real Pedialyte and since I don’t want to fuel them up with plastic-bottled high fructose corn syrup-laden ginger ale (and I can’t always afford the quantity of fancy glass-bottled ginger beer that would likely also work well). Variations of this recipe abound online, but I believe the original came from Aviva Jill Romm’s Naturally Healthy Babies and Children.
This is a simple recipe with ingredients I always have on hand. That’s a good thing, since I don’t usually get advance notice that someone is about to start throwing up. If I happen to have fresh lemons in the kitchen, I’ll use those, but I always have a bottle of organic lemon juice (not from concentrate – my local grocery store carries this brand at a great price), honey, sea salt, and water available. No plastic bottles, no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners required.
I’ve argued with my ER physician sister about this recipe; she worries that it’s too difficult to get the proportions just right for optimal and safe re-hydration. I don’t doubt that she has a very valid perspective. But when it comes down to it, after garden-variety GI illnesses, I’m more comfortable with these ingredients served in a glass than with the more official version in the plastic bottle from a store. I’m not a doctor, nor do I claim that YOU should use this instead of whatever your own real doctor prescribes for dehydration. I can tell you this has always worked for us without triggering bouts of further intestinal distress, but please consult your own licensed health care provider for medical advice.
DIY Re-Hydration Drink
Note: Honey is not safe for infants under 1 year of age! If you have a sick baby in need of re-hydration, please call your care provider! And if you’re mixing this up for anyone under 1 year of age, use an alternate sweetener such as maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, or coconut sugar.
- 1 quart water
- 2 Tablespoons raw honey
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (use 1/4 teaspoon if your sea salt is finely ground)
Put all ingredients in a large Mason jar or other glass bottle and shake well, until honey and salt are both completely dissolved. I cover the lid of my Mason jar with a piece of waxed paper before I screw the metal lid on, so there’s a barrier between the liquid and the BPA coating on the lid. My kids prefer to drink this at room temperature when they’re feeling sick, but it’s also lovely chilled if you’re dehydrated after time in the sun.