Hydrate, alkalize and energize with this 3-ingredient tonic

Move over kombucha — there’s a new health tonic in town.

And even though I’ve been a devout kombucha-drinker for years, it’s time to part ways…

It’s not because kombucha is an acquired taste… or that it isn’t phenomenally amazing — far from it!

In an average bottle of kombucha you’ll find a full laundry list of health-boosting nutrients:

  • Live probiotics
  • B-vitamins
  • Amino acids
  • Polyphenols
  • Digestive enzymes

But at $3.00 to $4.00 per bottle, it’s not a cheap habit — especially if you drink it every day like I was doing.

Of course, there’s always the option to make your own — that is if you don’t mind waiting up to 30 days to enjoy the benefits of your homemade brew.

But if you want to experience the health-boosting benefits of kombucha right now without breaking the bank, there is another option…

It’s an increasingly popular health tonic that’s so easy to make, you could throw it together in your kitchen today — and drink it almost immediately. You may even already have the three simple ingredients you need in your pantry right now.

Switch to switchel for energy, alkalinity, hydration and more

The tonic I’m talking about is switchel. And if you’ve never heard of it, that’s because it hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet. But my guess is… lots of kombucha drinkers will be making the switch to switchel.

Like kombucha, switchel has a long history as a healing tonic. Some say the roots of switchel go as far back as ancient Greece.

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But switchel was definitely a favorite drink among American colonists in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially farmers who referred to it as Haymaker’s Punch because it was a great refresher while working in the fields.

It’s considered hydrating, energizing and alkalizing and will give your immune system a swift boost. All this and it’s so easy anyone can make it…

Make switchel at home for pennies

Besides water, switchel only contains three simple and inexpensive everyday ingredients… apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup and freshly grated ginger. But all three ingredients pack a powerful punch that boosts energy, hydrates and helps alkalize your body…

  • Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is one of those amazing natural remedies that seems to make every health ailment better — from indigestion to reducing heart disease risk and more. That’s because, like kombucha, it’s fermented and contains a healthy dose of probiotics, along with other health-boosting nutrients like amino acids, pectin (a prebiotic that supports your gut), potassium and magnesium. It also has proven antibiotic and antifungal properties and is thought to balance your body’s pH levels. But be sure to get a brand of apple cider vinegar that contains the “mother,” else you’ll miss out on the fermented benefits.
  • Pure maple syrup: Yes, it’s a sweetener. But it’s one of the few sweeteners that contains a crazy long list of vitamins and minerals, like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and B6. And besides all of these nutrients, maple syrup contains free radical-fighting antioxidants too. According to OutsideOnline, maple syrup has many of the minerals and electrolytes athletes need to perform at the top of their game.
  • Fresh ginger: Ginger is good for your gut. There’s no denying that. If you eat it with or after a meal, it will help balance your blood sugar levels and aid in digestion. And it’s definitely one of the best sources of relief if you’re suffering from nausea, gas, diarrhea or pretty much any other stomach ailment. But it’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory that’s been shown to have anti-cancer properties to boot.

In some places, you can buy bottled switchel at the store. But it’s such a simple drink you might as well make your own.

Switch to switchel: here’s how…

  1. Make sure you have apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger and pure maple syrup. You will also need a large jar and filtered or seltzer water too. Choose seltzer water if you want your drink to be effervescent like kombucha.
  1. Combine the following in your jar:
    • 4 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
    • 4 tablespoons of maple syrup
    • At least one teaspoon of grated ginger (you can add more if you like)
    • 4 cups of your water of choice (filtered or seltzer)
  1. Put the lid on your jar and shake until all of the ingredients are combined.
  1. Serve it over ice, or let it steep in your fridge for one to two days.

Sources:

  1. Switchel comes back to slake our thirst.” — American Food Roots. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  2. Switchel: The Hipster Fermented Drink that Benefits Your Gut.” — Dr. Axe. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar- 13 Incredible Benefits & Uses” — Organic Facts. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  4. 4 Impressive Maple Syrup Benefits.” — Organic Facts. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  5. Health Benefits of Ginger.” — Organic Facts. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.