Perhaps it’s eating less carbs or maybe just getting old, but I don’t seem to be able to do things like yard work out in the heat like I used to. I have avoided sports drinks because of all the sugar / artificial sweeteners, but recently gave them a try. I shouldn’t have been surprised at how well they work. I recently looked into making my own home made rehydrating drink and found a much-cited recipe from the World Health Organization (WHO). Reproduced below from the Mojilnar Emergency / Disaster Medicine page.

World Health Organization ORS Recipe

–          3/8 tsp salt (sodium chloride)
–          ¼ tsp Morton® Salt Substitute® (potassium chloride)
–          ½ tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
–          2 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar (sucrose)
–          Add tap water  to make one (1) liter
–          Optional: Nutrasweet® or Splenda® based flavoring of choice, to taste

1.      Add the dry ingredients to a 1 liter bottle.
2.      Add enough water to make a final volume of 1 liter; mix well.
3.      If desired, add Nutrasweet® or Splenda® to taste. Mix well.
4.      Sip as directed above
5.      Discard after 24 hours.    

To add add potassium when salt substitute is not available or to improve taste, you may add orange juice or banana. To each liter, add

  • A half cup of orange juice or
  • Half of a mashed banana

Contains 27 grams of sucrose, 70 mEq per liter of sodium, 20 mEq per liter of potassium and 30 mEq per liter of bicarbonate. The final osmolarity is approximately 245 mOsm per liter.

Commercially made packets of WHO ORS formula are available in camping stores, on the internet, and from Amazon. Advantages include simplicity, convenient packaging, and stable storage containers. This convenience comes at a significant mark-up.

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