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You may have seen trendy adrenal mocktail recipes on Tik Tok or Instagram. It’s usually a concoction of orange or pineapple juice, sea salt, and some potassium in the form of coconut water, coconut cream, or cream of tartar. Looks delicious, but do these mocktails actually work or are you just consuming empty calories? Let’s dig in and explore this a little further.

What are adrenals?

First of all, your adrenal glands are two small, triangular shaped organs that sit on top of your kidneys. You would likely be able to survive without your adrenal glands if you replaced the hormones these make (cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and aldosterone) with synthetic ones. Your adrenal glands technically don’t require any “maintenance” as long as you’re eating a diet rich in veggies, fruits, lean protein, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, staying active, managing your stress levels, drinking enough water, and keeping your blood sugar levels stable. Sounds simple enough right?

Unfortunately, most of us aren’t nailing these habits and we feel fatigued and stressed as a result. We get our energy back with a cup of coffee, which causes us to crash in the afternoons, resulting in more caffeine, which may elevate cortisol levels even further, leading to more stress. The vicious cycle continues. The problem with chronic stress is that it depleted nutrients needed for hormone balance.  Even if you’re drinking enough water, you may not be getting the electrolytes and minerals you need. When you’re constantly in fight-or-flight mode, your body uses up minerals and if you’re not replenishing these, your adrenal glands are put under stress since they rely on minerals to function and produce hormones.

What’s Adrenal Fatigue?

The term “adrenal fatigue” gets thrown around a lot in the holistic health world, but it’s important to realize that this isn’t actually a medical condition. Adrenal insufficiency, on the other hand is a condition where the adrenal glands aren’t producing enough of the hormones. You would see your doctor if you’re experiencing low blood sugar, low blood pressure, muscle and joint pain, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting and treatment by an endocrinologist would then be necessary. Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by infections, steroid use, and pituitary gland problems. If you’re looking for more insights on how to help your adrenals along, check out my post on “Five Strategies for Battling Adrenal Fatigue, Chronic Stress, and Weight Gain“.

An adrenal mocktail isn’t a necessity and won’t fix adrenal insufficiency, but it’s an easy and delicious way to replenish minerals. At our home, we drink reverse-osmosis filtered water (highly recommend), which is great, but in the process of eliminating toxins and unwanted chemicals such as fluoride and arsenic, it also removes important minerals such as sodium, chloride, and potassium. Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine to energize or relax, I would rather hydrate properly first and help my cortisol levels along the way. This is where an adrenal mocktail comes in. It is not a magical elixir that will fix all your hormone imbalances, mood swings, acne, joint pain, etc. It is also not a meal replacement, but rather, a delicious and fun way to help you re-energize and get some quality minerals in.

When to drink an adrenal mocktail

There’s really no particular time when drinking an adrenal mocktail is more or less effective, but I enjoy drinking one in the afternoon and pairing it with some collagen for extra protein, gut health, and helping to stabilize blood sugar levels. Coconut cream can also help with a dose of healthy fats and satiety. Here’s what in my favorite adrenal mocktail recipe:

  • Fresh squeezed orange juice – Provides a healthy dose of vitamin C, which may help boost your immune system.
  • Sea salt – I would recommend using Redmond real salt since it’s unpolluted and contains important trace minerals or Himalayan Pink Salt, which is also unrefined and has a higher iron content.
  • Cream of tartar or fresh coconut water – Both are a great source of potassium, so you could use either one. I highly recommend Harmless Harvest organic coconut water as it doesn’t contain extra added sugar (most other brands do) and is unpasteurized.
  • Optional: collagen peptides – I recommend Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein.  Compared to other brands of collagen, it seems to have the least amount of heavy metals (which you want to avoid since this increases the toxic burden on your body).
  • Optional: 2-3 tbsp full fat coconut cream. I like the Native Forest brand because it comes without added sugars or gums. If you’re curious about why you may want to incorporate coconut cream vs dairy products, take a look at my “What’s the Deal with Dairy?” post.
  • Optional: an orange slice. Why? Because it’s festive and every little healthy and fun habit needs to be celebrated!

Gimme the recipe!

Here you go!

Grab a tall glass and fill it with:

Ice cubes
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup coconut water
1/4 tsp Redmond or Himalayan pink salt
Optional: a scoop of collagen peptides, 2-3 tbsp of coconut cream. You’ll want to use a frother to mix these in since they might get clumpy otherwise.

Mix together all ingredients and enjoy!

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