Chronic illness or not at some point everyone experiences the kind of dehydration that drags you down to a listless lump. With chronic illness whether it is the disorder itself or the medication and treatment prescribed to you dehydration and electrolyte imbalance can be a daily battle.Myself between limited stomach capacity and vomiting due to gastroparesis, disautonomia, and my medications it is something I am always fighting. As I don’t particularly appreciate palpitations and blacking out I have had to find multiple alternative means to meet my electrolyte and hydration needs outside of food sources.

Many people turn to readily available options such as Gatorade or Nuun which are perfectly suitable options if tolerated. Personally the dyes, flavoring, and sugar alternatives in such products cause me more problems than the electrolytes solve. So over the years I have come across alternative options below are few of my favorites.

  • Coconut Water such as C2O I’ve found brands such as Vita Coco and Sprouts far to musty and stale tasting. Other brands I enjoy are Harmless Harvest, Zico, and Koh. There are also increasing coconut alternatives such as maple water available.
  • Tri-Salts which comes in two formulas the Potassium/Magnesium formula and the Sodium/Potassium formula. Both formulas also contain calcium and are free of flavoring, coloring, sugars, and anti-caking agents. Easily dissolvable and simple to add to food and beverages.
  • Salt Sole a strong saline solution made with pure water and typically Himalayan salt reaching full sodium saturation. For direction and more information please see Wellness Mama.
  • Concentrace Drops a liquid supplement derived from the Great Salt Lake in Utah with the majority of the sodium removed. Though there is much controversy about this product and possible contamination remember everything grown that needs water and soil will also contain the same types of contaminates and after using this product in moderation for several years I have received no harm or troubling lab results.
  • Honey Stingers not as potent as other options but work well and though they have a fair number of additives they are for the most part respectably natural.
  • NuSalt a potassium chloride salt substitute that can be used in homemade electrolyte drinks.

Though I haven’t tried them personally here are some other convenient options to consider.

  • Elete a flavor free dye free liquid.
  • Celtic Sea Salt Mix a lemon flavored powder with the only addition being citric acid to achieve the citrus flavor.
  • First Aid Unflavored Electrolyte Tablets with the inactive ingredients of: croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, quercetin dihydrate, silica, and stearic acid. While not the most savory ingredients they would be convenient to keep in the car or purse/bag and not have to deal with measuring and mess if well tolerated. 

As an addendum though not an electrolyte itself I find improved results adding D-Ribose powder to my electrolyte beverages. Pinterest is also an excellent resource for homemade electrolyte drink recipes.

Now some cautions. Potassium is a much needed mineral but also very potent and affects multiple systems most importantly the heart. You can in fact overdose on potassium with critical consequences. People on certain medications including those derived from Belladonna such as Atropine and Scopolamine need to exercise additional caution and it is best to discuss with your pharmacist (See Mayo Clinic for more information). Also those with kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, and frequent ulcers should seek consultation.

Hopefully these products and ideas can help you achieve better symptom control and improved quality of life as they have for me.

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