After exercise or vigorous activity, a sports drink is a great way to cool off and replenish your body of the minerals it lost. But buying them from the grocery store isn’t your only option. By making your own sports drink, you get to choose your favorite flavors while controlling the drink’s ingredients. It’s easier on your wallet, too.
When you make your own sports drink, you know exactly what ingredients you’re putting into your body. That’s not always the case with store-bought products. Many of them have too much sugar, artificial flavors and dyes. If you’re working hard to get into shape, consuming excess sugar could actually hamper your energy more quickly. So here’s how to make your own:
The Main Ingredients
Sports drinks should include three things: fluid, electrolytes and carbohydrates. The fluid serves to hydrate the body while the carbohydrates provide storable energy for your muscles. Electrolytes are important minerals contained in elements like sodium and potassium, and help to regulate your heart rate and blood pressure in stimulating situations. During physical activity, you lose electrolytes by sweating.
Learn more about how to stay hydrated.
The Right Portions
These components work together to prevent dehydration, avoid an upset stomach or solve an electrolyte imbalance. To achieve this, according to Food Network, sports drinks generally include 14 to 20 grams of carbohydrates, 100 to 125 milligrams of sodium and 20 to 35 milligrams of potassium for each 8-ounce cup. It may seem like a complicated formula, but homemade sports drinks aren’t as hard to create as you might think.
Adding Them Together
First, you need a base of fluid. Water is the easiest, but green tea and coconut water are also healthy options. Add something to sweeten the concoction while providing your body with the carbs necessary for long-term energy. Honey, sugar or stevia work well without causing digestive problems. Finally, you need electrolytes. Add a dash of table salt or sea salt to help replace the sodium you’ve sweated out during your workout.
On their own, these ingredients may not sound very appetizing. But you can make your own sports drink delicious and healthy with the right mix of each. Juice your favorite fruit or vegetable to make a recovery beverage that suits your palate.
Need some inspiration? Check out a collection of nine recipes for homemade sports drinks by DailyBurn.
Advice or recommendations are for informational or educational purposes only, not a substitute for a visit or consultation with your doctor.
Consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also use tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the in the Member Wellness Center under the Managing Your Health tab.