Sports drinks are big business these days. Once only popular with athletes, sports drinks have become more mainstream. Experts believe that by 2018, sales will rise to 7.4 billion liters per year in the United States alone.
But are sports drinks necessary, and if so, is there a DIY way to get the benefits of sports drinks without taking a hit to your wallet?
Traditional sports drinks provide easy-to-digest carbohydrates to help fuel athletes for longer duration exercises. They also help replace electrolytes that are lost in sweat. And while sports drinks are certainly not necessary for those who don’t exercise, they’re tastier than water and lower in sugar than sodas.
Stocking up on electrolyte-rich sports drinks isn't cheap, so it might be handy for you to know how to make your own. You can save money and create your own flavors. Just follow the recipe below!
Things to Keep in Mind
Experiment with flavors, like using lime instead of lemon, or choose your favorite juice. Just try to keep the ingredient amounts as close to the recipe as possible. Sports drinks are made to a specific concentration. They provide a balance of carbohydrates to fuel and sodium to maintain hydration levels. This is so you can digest them as easily and quickly as possible.
Adding too much sugar can cause stomach distress during exercise for those with a sensitive GI tract. Adding too little sugar can lower the amount of carbohydrates you get before, during, or after your workout. This can affect your performance and ability to refuel.
Finally, although you don't lose a lot of potassium or calcium in sweat, they are still important electrolytes to replenish. This recipe uses a mix of coconut water and regular water to provide a more varied flavor and to add some potassium and calcium. Feel free to use only water if you prefer.
Lemon-Pomegranate Electrolyte Drink Recipe
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup pomegranate juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1½ cups unsweetened coconut water
- 2 cups cold water
Directions: Add all ingredients together and whisk. Then chill and serve!
Yield: 32 Ounces
Serving size: 8 ounces (1 cup)