Switchel could perhaps be one of the earlier thirst quenchers as it became a favorite drink during colonial times. Some say that the drink originated in the Caribbean, but others believe it has its origin in the New England colonies. This may be termed as the soft drink, energy drink or vitamin water of old. In any case, switchel is not only a thirst quencher or a refresher during those hot summer days but also an energizing, healthful drink. The four main ingredients are water, vinegar, ginger, and a sweetener. Initially, a switchel was a mixture of water, vinegar, and sweeteners only. Ginger was later added to prevent the occurrence of bloating.
Dehydration can cause an electrolyte imbalance in the body. Body fluids and minerals get lost because of physical activities or when feeling under the weather. After such conditions, we usually will experience some or all types of body discomforts. These include headaches, muscle aches, heart palpitations, anxiety, joint pains, stomach cramps, lack of concentration, dizziness, and fatigue. Drinking a solution of electrolytes can immediately replenish the lost water and minerals which can include calcium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, and sodium. The vinegar used in switchel is the apple cider type, and this is rich in potassium. Maple syrup can provide potassium too, together with magnesium, sodium, and calcium. What makes switchel unique is that it's a natural drink that can help maintain the balance of electrolytes.
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