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Homemade Sports Drink Recipe

Rehydrate with Electrolytes the Frugal Way

© 2017 ; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission. Author’s Google profile

A variety of sports drinks

This article was last revised on 08/24/17.

As athletes we drink copious amounts of water, especially during the summertime heat. But for any workout that lasts more than 30 minutes (some say 90 minutes so there is some degree of leeway there) more is needed—electrolytes and fuel to be specific. That’s where sports drinks and gels come into the picture. The local grocery store offers many choices, Gatorade, Powerade, Accelerade; the list goes on and on.

Many runners have an aversion to hydrating on the run for some reason. Some say it makes them feel bloated; some don’t like carrying anything with them. The problem is that you have to provide as much fluid as your body can process. For runners who are working out, the situation is more complex than it is for sedentary people. says, “At rest, the body filters about 0.21 to 0.26 gallons of water an hour. In motion, however, your body releases a substance called antidiuretic hormone that keeps your kidneys from filtering as much water. This hormone is helpful when you are exercising because you do not have to stop often and use the restroom.”

They go on to say, “In terms of fluid replacement, however, the hormone can make things confusing. While you are drinking more water to replace fluids lost via sweat, your body is not working as efficiently to release the remaining water in your body. This can contribute to a condition known as hyponatremia, in which you have more water in your body than you have salts to balance it.”

Nevertheless, hydrating before, during, and after the run is something you must do. After all, it is one of the 10 habits of highly-successful runners.

Issues with Over-the-Counter Sports Drinks

The cost of these products is one issue. Even for people who are not particularly frugal there is a huge mark up just as it is with soft drinks (most sports drinks are sidelines for soda companies). These drinks are a real cash cow for stores. Some brands such as Gatorade and Powerade also offer powder versions which you mix with water yourself. Going this route can slash your bill and allow you to vary the concentration.

Another issue is the ingredients. For example, I have high blood pressure so I don’t want mega-quantities of sodium. The Australian Institute of Sport tells us that excessive sodium supplementation while exercising can lead to “gastrointestinal problems or cause further impairment of fluid balance” and cause salt-induced cramps.

A 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade Thirst Quencher has a whopping 270mg of sodium which amounts to 11% of the daily requirement. Is there a solution to these issues? Certainly; make your own drink according to a flexible homemade sports drink recipe.

A Basic Recipe

It is easy to see why a homemade sports drink is so much better for you than the commercial concoctions. One final thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to fill up your water bottle and go for a long run. Experiment with it on shorter distances to be sure it sits well with you. Adjust the ingredients as needed and play around with different flavoring components if you like.

Opinions and tips are welcome and encouraged in the comment section below. Why not add a comment?

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