The desire to get and stay hydrated isn’t new. As a matter of fact, commercial products and formulas designed to address dehydration have been around since the 1960’s, but many traditions predate this. If you look back at America’s early years you would find that Switchel (a combination of water, vinegar, and honey, along with other ingredients like salt) was a popular drink consumed during the hot days of summer.
Since then, the study of hydration science really picked up steam in the 1900’s with the development of sports drinks to support athletic performance. These drinks still dominate the industry and have ballooned into a multi-billion dollar business. Unfortunately, what started off as a quest for better hydration turned into products that offer very little electrolyte support apart from sodium at the expense of high amounts of sugars and artificial ingredients.
Basic sports drinks were originally designed to deal with the loss of fluids and electrolytes from sweat. It was thought that if we can replace what we sweat out during activity, then our overall hydration will improve. In order to accomplish this, salt and sugar was added to help bring more water into the body. While sugar can play a role in supporting hydration, it largely turned into an excuse to make sports drinks overly sweet and more like soda. What started out as 14g of sugar per serving has now become up to a whopping 34g per bottle! Most importantly, these products were never designed to address overall electrolyte mineral needs, which reflect losses through urine as well as sweat. Our electrolyte requirements are astounding, with Potassium alone requiring more milligrams per day than all other minerals combined. Because of this, there was a desire to improve hydration products to shift away from artificial, low potency, electrolyte beverages and towards more natural and higher power hydration drinks.
In the 2000’s we saw a second generation of Hydration products enter the scene to address this problem. This time, in the form of natural juices largely derived from Coconut Water and vegetable jucies. Coconut Water is a great hydrator, delivering a much higher potency of electrolytes, while limiting the large sugar amounts found in the artificial drinks. One of the main benefits of natural juices is that they largely contain high amounts of Potassium, a nutrient hardly anybody gets enough of. While these were largely seen as an improvement to overall health, perhaps the biggest critique of relying purely on juices is their lack of sodium and meaningful amounts of magnesium along with the continued existence of natural sugars which many are trying to avoid. These concerns, especially in light of sodium losses during exercise, resulted in the demand for products that are both natural and potent enough to be functional when needed most.
This demand began to be addressed over the last 10 years with the rise of a new generation of products. These products, based on the science, looked to ramp up the overall potencies compared to both juices as well as traditional sports drinks in order to deliver a better outcome. This 3rd generation of drinks combines juices like coconut water with salt and other ingredients to give more overall electrolytes doses, yet still add sugars and artificial ingredients to either enhance the taste or shelf life.
During this time, many hydration supplement powders were also developed using either a blend of low potency electrolytes or simply using high doses of salt and sugars (“Salt Bombs”) to enhance fluid replenishment. With all this being said, the question still remained: “What does a perfect electrolyte formula look like?”
At Great Naturally, we tried these products over the years and saw a lot to be desired. We would take natural drinks and add minerals to both deliver great dosages and proper ratios to help increase not only hydration but overall electrolyte needs as well. We found they worked a lot better than the traditional stuff, and the end result was Real Electrolytes. Real Electrolytes starts with Real Food coming from Coconut Water, Celery and Cucumber Juices, and adds well tolerated and highly absorbable minerals to get your Electrolyte status back into balance quickly. This is possible with the inclusion of 800mg of Potassium along with 200mg of Sodium, as well as 125mg of Magnesium to go with 75mg of calcium. All four major electrolytes work best when kept in balance, and we chose these dosages specifically to help replenish what is lost from all sources and rebalance the diet. We naturally sweeten it without using sugars or syrups, and they contain more than 4x the amount of electrolytes found in traditional sports drinks. Real Electrolytes is found in 3 great tasting flavors, and is perfect for when you are active and on the go or want to relax and recharge. As the science continues to unearth the mysteries of human health and hydration performance, we here at Great Naturally know that this pursuit begins with Real Food and High Potency to help you Find Your Greatness!