Try the following recipes for hydrating, nutritious, and restorative homemade sports drinks
Sports drinks have been around since the 1960s with companies like Gatorade leading the way. Since then, innumerable sports drink concoctions have appeared on the shelves of supermarkets and convenient stores. Along with a marketing effort, many people believe they need to buy these drinks in order to perform athletic endeavors at their best.
The truth is though, that you don’t need to rely on the products these companies are selling you. It is easy to make ‘homemade’ electrolyte drinks in your own kitchen. Not only do they cost less, you have peace of mind of imbibing something with simple ingredients – making them healthier choice, and better fueling in the end.
In the beginning, there was Gatorade
We’re not saying that all commercial sports drinks are created equal nor bad, they do provide critical electrolytes and carbohydrates. The downside to many of these drinks is that they’re often loaded with dyes, sugar, and additives. Any active person or athlete from leisurely amateur to serious professional should shudder at the idea of putting anything unnatural into their body – indeed it’s counterproductive to pursue a healthy activity while fueling with chemicals products.
So, what’s an active person to do in today’s day and age? Well, that’s easy since the alternative solution is to craft your own sports drinks. Trust me, it will catch on, and in no time, you’ll be influencing your friends to do the same. And besides, there’s nothing these companies can provide us with, that we cannot make ourselves with less energy, waste, and packaging – making it a more environmentally sound choice. I mean really, the only advantage to drinking Red Bull is if you’re an athlete like Shaun White and have a sponsorship – I’d down Red Bull too if they were bank-rolling all of my wild adventures.
Morning Electrolyte Drink (Pre and during workout)
This homemade sports drink is best when chilled and an excellent choice to keep you going through both breakfast and lunch. These recipes are not perfect for everyone, so don’t be afraid to customize them … for example, if you feel you need to up the sodium in the mix, then go ahead and add more salt.
- 8 cups water, divided in half
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup juice (cherry, watermelon, or orange)
- Juice of 2 lemons and 2 limes
After bringing four cups of water to a boil, lower the heat and simmer. Add salt and honey and stir until dissolved. Add the additional four cups of cold water and store in a glass jar. Add the rest of the ingredients and chill. Makes nine eight-ounce servings.
Citrus-Coconut Electrolyte Drink
Coconut water provides potassium and honey is a great simple sugar in the form of glucose and fructose. Ginger soothes the stomach, is anti-inflammatory, and especially good for more intense exercise.
- 1 1/2 cups 100 percent coconut water
- 1/2 cup filtered tap water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons organic honey
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 slices of a one-inch piece of peeled, fresh ginger (to float in drink)
Put all the ingredients together, except for the ginger, into a glass container or water bottle. Mix until the honey and salt has dissolved completely. Afterwards, add the ginger and chill. Makes one 16-ounce sports drink.
Watermelon Drink for Post-workout
This is a great recovery drink for after workouts. It is best to enjoy this hydrating and refreshing beverage with a small meal high in protein and carbohydrates. You’ll need a blender for this one.
- 1 cup frozen watermelon cubes
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- Lime to taste
- A dash of salt (optional)
Put all ingredients into a blender. It’s that simple. And then serve. Makes one 16-ounce serving.