Staying Hydrated: Electrolytes and Tea
It’s no secret that I love talking about electrolytes. I’ve done it more than once (ok twice) these last few years running on TeaMuse, and every sweaty year brings with it the chance to give you the lowdown again.
Why do I care so much about getting you properly hydrated?
Because being thirsty during the summer is uncomfortable.
Because drinking water and STILL feeling thirsty during the summer is uncomfortable.
And because drinking MORE water, on top of the water you just drank, and STILL feeling thirsty after all that— and likely pouring out sweat buckets while you’re at it— is the worst of all. And I know we’ve all been there!
So why not educate folks on how to get the right balance of ionized minerals into their systems quickly, so that we don’t have to get to the third scenario? (And air-conditioned/HVAC-ed gyms are equally prone to being culprits of dehydration! All that dryness? My lips are chapping just thinking about it, yikes.)
Long story short, you need more than just H2O to give your body back what it needs if you’ve been seriously losing water this season. In fact, you need these guys, called electrolytes:
Now, I bet you’re familiar with all of these, just in different contexts.
Sodium? Easy. Just open up a salt shaker, but you can also find it in a variety of fruits and vegetables without any additives.
Magnesium? Also a cinch. Dark leafies are packed with them, and this mineral is key for muscle relaxation and nervous system support. If you’re prone to anxiety or have a high-stress lifestyle, you’ve got to get this into your eats.
Potassium? I bet you’re thinking bananas. But did you also know that it’s found in spinach as well? Popeye certainly had the right idea for muscle recovery!
Chloride is the one that usually trips people up, but it’s one of the most important in the bunch! Chloride is part of stomach acid, which you need to properly digest and assimilate food— especially necessary when your body is already working hard under the intense summer swelter.
And as for calcium, look no further than milk, which has been studied to be packed full of electrolytes in and of itself.
Hold onto that milk, by the way— I think it’s time to give you a solid recipe for creating your own electrolyte tea drink!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Rooibos tea. If this is the national go-to drink of South Africa, let’s take that (tea) leaf out of their book! I’m super partial to Rooibos Jasmine for a refreshingly floral twist, but feel free to choose whatever flavor your heart desires! Green Rooibos also pairs excellently with a variety of accents, and who could say no to a decadent Chocolate Mint Rooibos to cool you down in the summer heat?
Honey. See that Rooibos Raw Honey staring coyly at us from over there? Many energy drinks contain some sort of carbohydrate to increase the efficacy of hydration, which has been studied to help fluid balance. If you’re sugar-free, however, that’s totally cool! Go for some freeze-dried fruit instead, which should add a pleasantly sweet flavor— plus the added benefits of the fruit— without messing with your blood sugar.
Milk of choice. Most nondairy milks contain supplementary vitamins and minerals, so you’re not missing out on those important bits of calcium, potassium, and sodium when you partake.
Pitcher. And you can bet that Adagio has just the perfect one. (Plus you get MORE tea with it!)
Alrighty, how do we make this magic now? Luckily, the step-by-step for electrolyte iced tea is easy.
Measure out the tea into the pitcher’s infusion chamber.
Fill the pitcher with water. Add honey and milk— not too much, since you don’t want to overpower the tea. I always recommend trying one teaspoon at a time for this, especially for those who are sugar-sensitive. You can also add the honey and milk later when you're ready to drink if you prefer!
Find a home for it in your fridge.
Let it sit overnight.
Enjoy in the AM and through the next few days!
Hope you stay safe and well— and hydrated!
NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, Founder of Work Life Fitness