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October 2014

The Sports Drink Myth & Easy, Homemade Sports Drink Recipes

By Tanya Zuckerbrot

tanya-zuckerbrot-sports-drinksSupermarket shelves are overflowing with an array of sports drinks that come in different colors and flavors, and tout a variety of health claims. The manufacturers behind these sports drinks would love you to believe that these products are essential after-exercise drinks. However, unless you’re a competitive athlete or exercising intensely for 60 minutes or more, I’d recommend skipping the sugar-filled Lemon-Lime Gatorade. These homemade sports drink recipes are a much healthier alternative.

One liter of most sports drinks contains anywhere between 240 and 300 calories and 60–70 g of carbs, which is nutritionally equivalent to eating 4 slices of white bread. If you are only spending a half hour at the gym, you may be ingesting more calories in your after-exercise drink than you actually burned.

If you’re a moderate exerciser (30–45 minutes, 3–4 times per week), stick with a low-calorie sports drink or create your own after-exercise drink. Try these easy and delicious sports-drink alternatives for a waist-friendly way to rehydrate. You might notice that a pinch of salt is added to each DIY sports-drink recipe. Why? When you sweat, minerals such as sodium and potassium are excreted through your pores. After-exercise drinks should help restore electrolytes lost during an intense sweat session.

Homemade Sports-Drink Recipe: Raspberry Lemonade
Water is the best source of rehydration, and the primary ingredient in all sports-drink recipes. Adding lime and salt to your after-exercise drink helps to restore electrolytes that you sweat out during a workout. Fill your water bottle with this low-calorie, low-carb sports drink for a great DIY alternative to the Gatorades of the beverage world.

Makes 1 Serving
Nutritional Content: 25 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 5g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 0g protein, 145mg sodium

Ingredients for Raspberry Lemonade Sports-Drink Recipe
1 cup water
1 individual-serving packet Crystal Light Lemonade
¼ cup raspberries
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 small pinch of salt

How to Make Your Own Raspberry Lemonade Sports Drink
1. Place all ingredients in blender and mix on high speed until well-blended.
2. Pour into your water bottle or a glass and enjoy.

Homemade Sports-Drink Recipe: Orange Oasis
Oranges aid in replenishing your body with the electrolytes needed after intensive exercise. Severe loss of electrolytes can occur during strenuous physical activity, which can result in dehydration and weakened muscles. This great DIY sports drink will assist with recovery so you are in prime condition for your next workout.

Makes 1 Serving
Nutritional Content: 39 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 10g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 0g protein, 164mg sodium

Ingredients for Orange Oasis Sports-Drink Recipe
½ cup water
½ freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup carrot juice
1 small pinch of salt

How to Make Your Own Orange Oasis Sports Drink
1. Squeeze orange and pour juice into water bottle or tall glass.
2. Mix in remaining ingredients and enjoy.

Homemade Sports-Drink Recipe: Coconut Berry Bliss
Coconut water packs the 5 essential electrolytes that provide your body with everything it needs to perform at its best. Plus, coconut water is a natural source of nutrition and hydration in your own homemade sports drink. Blueberries add not only sweetness to this drink, but also natural sugar for an energy boost post-workout.

Makes 1 Serving
Nutritional Content: 43 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 1g protein, 157mg sodium

Ingredients for Coconut Berry Bliss Sports Drink
½ cup water
½ cup coconut water
¼ cup blueberries
1 small pinch salt

How to Make Your Own Coconut Berry Bliss Sports Drink
1. Place all ingredients in blender. Mix on high speed until well-blended.
2. Pour into a water bottle or a glass and enjoy.

Related Links
Detox Diet Cleanse 101: Eat, Drink & Lose Weight
Dining Out on a Diet
5 tips for a Fitness Routine You’ll Stick To

Tanya Zuckerbrot, Health & Fitness Contributing Editor
Tanya Zuckerbrot is a Manhattan-based registered dietitian and the creator of the F-Factor Diet, an innovative nutritional program she founded in 1999. The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss (Putnum, 2006) debuted in hardcover in January 2007. This common-sense plan, used successfully by hundreds of Tanya’s clients, provides tools for improved health . . . Read more of Tanya’s tips

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