Almost every time I play soccer I notice sports drinks on the sidelines. It has become a very common everyday thing. Many people seem to believe that sports drinks are an important way to replenish nutrients that were lost in a hard workout. Unfortunately most of these kinds of products contain large amounts of sugar, sodium and potassium, in ratios that are not actually ideal for our bodies. (Not to mention food coloring chemicals.)
It’s actually quite easy to replenish nutrients without reaching for sports drinks, bars or other manufactured items. Real food can easily help your body replenish the nutrients that have been used without putting excess sugar and/or chemicals into your body.
Tips for Post Workout Replenishment:
Drink water. After a work out it’s most important to rehydrate yourself. If you don’t like plain water you can add a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of fruit juice into it. Some people enjoy coconut water as a natural choice for electrolyte replenishment, which has become quite popular recently. If you do choose this, be sure to also drink enough water first.
- Eat a small handful of nuts. Nuts are a great source of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Nutrients in different nut types vary. They are also easy to bring with you – just put some in a zip lock baggie and throw it in your sports bag.
- Snack on a piece of fruit. You could have an apple or an orange, both of which have a good amount of fiber or banana, which has potassium. These are also easy to bring with you for a quick snack after working out.
- Listen to your body and do what works best for you!
My friend, Michelle Stern, recently wrote an article about her reaction to a Gatorade marketing representative who came to the high school where she works and gave out free samples of the products. I really enjoyed reading about how she chose to respond and how she used it as a teaching opportunity for her students.
Below is a small part of Michelle’s article with recipes she posted for how to make your own “Sports Drinks” – much healthier choices! If you are interested in reading her full article, there is a link below.
Want to make your own affordable electrolyte replacement drink made out of real ingredients?
Blatner’s homemade Gatorade:
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup orange juice
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt.
Makes four servings.
Per 8 ounce serving: 50 calories, 14 grams carbohydrate, 160 milligrams sodium.
Homemade sports drink from “Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.“
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup orange juice (not concentrate) plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 1/2 cups cold water
- In the bottom of a pitcher, dissolve the sugar and salt in the hot water.
- Add the juice and the remaining water; chill.
- Quench that thirst!
Makes 1 quart.
Per 8-ounce serving: 50 calories, 12 grams carbohydrate, 110 mg sodium.
Clark encourages creativity when making your own sports drink. “For example, you can dilute many combinations of juices (such as cranberry + lemonade) to 50 calories per 8 ounces and then add a pinch of salt. (More precisely, ¼ teaspoon salt per 1 quart of liquid,)” she wrote.
You can read Michelle Stern’s full article here: Selling Out – Free Gatorade for Students