Use this easy adrenal cocktail recipe made with three simple ingredients to help support your health and feel your best. It’s a great afternoon pick me up instead of another cup of coffee.
Let’s kick off the New Year with a recipe to promote health – the adrenal cocktail!
Chances are you’ve heard about this mineral drink recently as it’s quite a trendy way to help support your adrenals, hormones and overall health.
But, if you’re like I was initially, you’re also probably wondering both what the heck it is and then also how the heck three simple ingredients of orange juice, coconut water and salt can be so transformative?
So, let’s get into why this drink has become so popular and why it’s really a great little habit to get into this year to help support your health.
WHAT IS AN ADRENAL COCKTAIL FOR?
Simply put, an adrenal cocktail drink helps replenish and balance the vitamins and minerals (mainly sodium, potassium, magnesium and whole food vitamin C) your adrenal glands use in the production of hormones. It also helps establish proper electrolyte balance.
In order to understand why this is important, it’s necessary to first understand what our adrenal glands are and what they do.
THE ADRENAL GLANDS
Our adrenal glands sit right above the kidneys and function in regulating our stress hormones among other functions such as metabolism, the immune system and blood sugar.
These hormones (primarily cortisol, adrenaline and aldosterone), are responsible for our energy levels and how we respond to “fight or flight” events.
When the body is under chronic periods of stress, these hormones become out of balance and can contribute to something called “adrenal fatigue”.
While mainstream medicine does not accept this term as a medical diagnosis, many functional medicine doctors and those in the integrative health world understand the importance of a healthy functioning adrenal system in the grand scheme of overall health. This article does a good job of explaining it in detail.
In order to rebalance the hormones once the adrenals are fatigued, the body needs certain minerals, mainly sodium and potassium, which is where the adrenal cocktail recipe comes into play and why it’s sometimes also referred to as a cortisol cocktail.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE AN ADRENAL COCKTAIL
There are a few variations of this drink out there but the version I like to make is the simplest and most accessible. It includes these 3 ingredients:
- orange juice
- coconut water
- sea salt
ORANGE JUICE – The juice can be either fresh squeezed (best) or from a carton. If buying store bought juice, make sure to look for organic juice with an ingredient list of just oranges, no minerals added.
Other citrus like lemons or grapefruit can be substituted for the vitamin C in the orange juice if you prefer. Or, use a vitamin C powder instead.
Much of the body’s vitamin C is stored in and used by the adrenal glands which is why orange juice is an important ingredient in the adrenal cocktail.
COCONUT WATER – The main benefit of coconut water in the drink recipe is to replenish potassium. Look for organic coconut water if possible and again, make sure there are no other ingredients besides coconut water. Each serving of an adrenal cocktail should have about 375mg of potassium.
SEA SALT – Salt is hugely important in keeping our electrolyte levels adequate. A high quality mineral sea salt like Redmond’s is what you’re after here. Mineral salt, as the name suggests, retains all the naturally occurring minerals in the salt whereas other types strip them away in processing.
*OPTIONAL ADD IN – COLLAGEN
Depending on what time a day you drink the adrenal cocktail or what your activity level looks like, you may what to add in some unflavored collagen or protein powder to help blunt the effect the drink will have on blood sugar.
More on this below when we discuss timing of the drink.
WHY DO SOME RECIPES USE CREAM OF TARTAR?
Cream of tartar is (weirdly) a great source of potassium just like coconut water. Some adrenal cocktail recipes will use orange juice, cream of tartar and salt.
I personally prefer the coconut water recipe but this option is great in a pinch if you run out because we all likely have a small container of cream of tartar in the back of our spice drawer.
You can swap out 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar for the coconut water in the recipe below if desired.
BASIC MINERAL RATIOS FOR THE ADRENAL COCKTAIL
Per the root cause protocol (which is an excellent information source if you’re interested in mineral balancing), the basic ratios for creating one serving of an adrenal cocktail are as follows:
- 375mg potassium
- 460mg sodium
- 60mg whole food vitamin C
How you achieve this ratio can vary as detailed above so if you want to play around with different citrus juices, salts, coconut waters or cream of tartar, just refer back to these amounts.
I personally find 4 ounces of orange juice, 4 ounces of coconut water and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to be the easiest and most accessible mixture for 1 serving.
HOW TO MIX THE ADRENAL COCKTAIL
Simply add all the ingredients to a glass or mason jar to make a bigger batch and stir together until the salt dissolves.
If you’re adding collagen or protein powder, you can add the ingredients to a blender (it’s also great with added ice to make more of a refreshing smoothie type drink) or use a hand-held frother to help mix everything together. If you try to just stir in the collagen to the cold liquids, you’ll end up with clumps.
WHEN SHOULD I DRINK MY ADRENAL COCKTAIL?
The best time of day for enjoying this healthy hormone supporting drink is either mid-morning or mid-afternoon.
Instead of reaching for a second (or third) cup of coffee during these times, make an adrenal cocktail!
If you’re worried about the blood sugar effects of the drink, I suggest adding the optional collagen or protein powder to balance out some of the carbohydrates. I also like to add a protein component if I time the drink after a workout to aid in recovery.
Don’t think of this as a meal replacement or a snack but rather a quick and easy way to help replenish your mineral levels during the times of day the body naturally starts to run low on the aforementioned hormones (the reason we all tend to hit a slump around 11am and 2-3pm).
That said, any time of day is better than none so don’t stress about fitting it into a certain timeframe (that defeats the purpose of the drink!) and just enjoy it when you can.
IS THE ADRENAL COCKTAIL GOOD FOR YOU?
When things fall into the “simple, can’t hurt, might help” category, I tend to implement them. There’s literally no harm in trying, right?
That’s how I think of the adrenal cocktail. By no means is this a magic cure to all your fatigue woes or any other more serious systems of a dysregulated hormonal system. But, it can absolutely be a small part of your journey back to health.
If you’re feeling run down or, you’ve done testing to know your stress hormones are out of whack, there’s no reason not to try incorporating 1-2 adrenal cocktails a day into your health routine. Try it out for a month, see how you feel and adjust from there.
If nothing else, it’s a delicious treat to look forward to and a great way to wean down your caffeine intake and stabilize electrolyte levels.
MORE HEALTHY DRINKS TO TRY:
3-Ingredient Adrenal Cocktail
- 8 ounces orange juice fresh squeezed is best if not, use organic orange juice with nothing added
- 8 ounces coconut water
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- scoop of unflavored collagen optional
- Combine all the ingredients in a large glass or jar and stir with a spoon or a handheld frother.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.