How to make your own Sports Drinks

Sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade are the most popular source of fuel during workouts. They not only aid in hydration, but provide carbohydrates for energy and electrolytes (primarily potassium and sodium) to replace losses in sweat. For endurance athletes and training sessions lasting longer than 60 minutes, these drinks can definitely come in handy. However, there are some cons that could come with guzzling drinks like Gatorade during each training session. For one, the second ingredient in Gatorade is sugar (right after water). It contains over five teaspoons of added sugar! It also contains several additives, artificial colors and flavorings (depending on the flavor). The newer "G2" low-calorie series is lower calorie because they replaced some of the sugar with artificial sweeteners (sucralose/splenda and acesulfame K). I highly recommend athletes avoid artificial sweeteners during workouts as they could lead to GI distress, bloating, upset stomach, headache, etc. Try these two simple recipes for a healthier, cleaner sports drink!

In this chart, I have compared the nutrient content of my homemade sports drink recipes (found below) to Gatorade. The carbohydrate source in my drinks (Citrus and Watermelon) is natural sugar from fruit, potassium from coconut water, and sodium from a pinch of sea salt. 

 

Citrus Sports Drink

juice from 3-4 oranges (should yield approximately 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice)

juice from 1/2 a fresh lemon

6 oz. (3/4 cup) coconut water

pinch of sea salt (or approximately 1/16 tsp)

Combine all ingredients in glass and enjoy! This drink refrigerates well throughout the day, just make sure to stir before drinking. **If you are in a time crunch/unable to juice your own fruit, use freshly squeezed orange juice & lemon juice from store (only ingredient should be: orange juice…no added sugar!) 

 

 

Watermelon is rich in citrulline, an amino acid that research has shown helps to reduce muscle soreness in athletes after intense workouts. This recipe combines the powerful antioxidants and nutrient content of watermelon, with electrolytes from coconut water and salt for a "natural" sports drink excellent pre, during, and post-workout. 

Watermelon Sports Drink

1 cup fresh watermelon (chopped)

1 cup coconut water

juice squeezed from half of a lime

pinch of sea salt (or approximately 1/16 tsp)

Combine all ingredients together in blender. Enjoy immediately after making. 

 

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