Updated: Sep 10, 2019
It's summer and temps are soaring. Maybe you've just finished at the gym or you've been working in the yard. You come inside and reach for a cold Gatorade or Powerade. Time to rehydrate and replenish, right?
Not so fast. Before you slug back a sports drink, let's take a look at what's in that neon syrup water and how you can make your own natural electrolyte replacement drink.
Gatorade or Sugarade?
The majority of these "healthy" sports drinks have misled the public for years. Originally designed for the elite athlete who is burning fuel and sweating buckets for a few hours, sports drinks have become ubiquitous after any type of exercise.
I remember sucking down a sports drink during every basketball game when I was a kid, regardless of how much play time I got. It was just a normal part of sports culture.
Ironically, they're now sold in vending machines in schools while gym class is done away with. The marketing notion that they're "hydrating" has created a health halo around what's truly a glorified soda full of preservatives and artificial ingredients.
Looking at this ingredient list, we have...
Two types of sweeteners
A color "stabilizer"
The most concerning of these ingredients is the vast amount of refined sugar.
At 34 g of sugar, that's as much as...
A 12 fl oz can of Coke
A bag of m&m's
A Snickers bar
2.5 bowls of Lucky Charms cereal
And yet these drinks are marketed as the healthy choice of athletes!
What's a Better Hydration Choice Then?
Consuming water, electrolytes, and some (natural) sugar is still a good idea to replace losses after strenuous exercise or prolonged sweating, like mowing the yard at high noon.
A natural alternative takes two seconds to make and is just as delicious and thirst-quenching. You'll need...
Coconut water: replaces sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus
Raw honey: replaces glucose from a natural source
Lemon or lime: replaces potassium, calcium, magnesium, and water-soluble vitamin C
Sea salt: replaces sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, sulfate and phosphate
Natural Electrolyte Replacement Recipe
1 cup coconut water
1 cup filtered water
2 tsp raw honey
1 lemon or lime squeezed
1 pinch sea salt
Mix all ingredients in a pitcher and chill.
Cheers to staying cool this summer with everything your body needs & nothing it doesn't!