If you, or your kids, enjoy any kind of sports or athletic events, there is certainly a time when water alone just doesn’t quite cut it. Even water with lemon or lime gets boring after a while, and when you need to rehydrate, you often need added electrolytes.
Before you stop by the store for a Gatorade on the way to the game, try making your own natural version! It is easy, just as fast, and a lot more healthy.
Regular Gatorade contains: Water, sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, citric acid, natural grape flavor with other natural flavors, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, red 40, Blue 1. (This is from a picture of the grape flavored Gatorade label).
While re-hydrating is important for your health, are the monopotassium phosphate, mystery “natural flavors” and artificial dyes really necessary?
- NPR – Some Athletes Reject High-Tech Sports Fuel In Favor Of Real Food
- The Atlantic – The Controversial Science of Sports Drinks
So for times when more than just water is needed for hydration (softball games, triathlons, labor, etc.), you can make your own version, which is more natural… unlike Gatorade or Powerade.
The easiest sports drink that is nutritionally amazing (they even used this stuff for plasma infusions during the pacific war) is plain coconut water or coconut water with a TBSP of added lime juice. Coconut water has more potassium than sports drinks, and more natural sources of sodium. A lot of athletes swear by it these days.
The only downside to coconut water is the price. If you want an inexpensive (and still healthy and tasty) alternative, this versatile recipe is the next best thing…
Homemade Natural Energy and Sports Drink Recipe
- 1 quart of liquid (options: green tea, herbal teas, coconut water, plain water, etc)
- ⅛-1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt (regular table salt will work, but it doesn’t have all the trace minerals)
- ¼ to ½ tsp crushed Calcium magnesium tablets or powder (optional)
- ¼ cup or more of juice (optional. Can use grape, apple, lemon, lime, pineapple, etc)
- 1-2 TBSP sweetener (optional)- can use honey, stevia, etc. I suggest brewing stevia leaf into the base liquid for the most natural option.
- Brew tea if using or slightly warm base liquid
- Add sea salt and calcium magnesium (if using)
- Add juice and mix or shake well
- Cool and store in fridge until ready to use
Another easier alternative is the following recipe.
Homemade Rehydration Drink Recipe
- 1 cup lemon juice (approx 6-8 lemons)
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Place in a pint mason jar and stir to combine (the lemon juice and baking soda will react, so stir it down), keep concentrate in the fridge. This can be added to 1 gallon of filtered water, or add 1-2 tablespoons to each 8 ounces (1 cup) of water.