Staying hydrated is important at the best of times for overall health, and we are constantly reminded to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
When playing sports, staying hydrated becomes even more important. In order to maintain energy during exercise, to perform at our best, and to recover appropriately afterwards, then knowing how to hydrate in line with our needs becomes very important.
When you sweat, you lose a lot more than water; you also lose electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and your sodium-potassium ratio can be put off balance.
Below is a sports drink that I routinely make at home – cheaper, healthier and more effective than purchased alternatives,which usually contain added sugars, colourings and other additives.; the proof is in the drinking – my kids happily gulp this down during and after sports.
Liza’s Healthy Sports Drink Recipes!
- 1/2 Water – for re-hydration
- 1/4 Coconut water – re-hydrates and contains electrolytes potassium and magnesium
- 1/4 Natural Fruit Juice – e.g. freshly squeezed juice, to replace glucose
- Generous pinch of sea (or mineral) salt – to replace lost soldium
Some more drink ideas incorporating these ingredients are:
- Smoothie with dried fruits – e.g. dried apricots soaked and pureed with some orange juice, water, sea salt
- Banana pureed with some natural fruit juice, water, sea salt
- Fresh strawberries pureed with water, coconut water, sea salt
- Smoothies are great also to replenish lost mineral stores – incorporate foods high in electrolytes – e.g. bananas, avocados, coconut water, nuts, greek
yogurt, chia seeds. See here for my Banana-Almond Smoothie.
In answer to questions about hydrating tablets, many of these also contain Sodium Benzoate and other undesirable additives, so probably best avoided – check the ingredient list. Many commercial sports drinks contain sugars and additives, and can
Do let me know what your kids think of this homemade healthy alternative. Perhaps you have your own suggestions, which I’d love you to share in the comments below:
To our health!
When not not busy in my favourite role as mother to my two boys, I dedicate my time to educate, motivate and inspire us all to lead healthier, happier lives. This involves hosting Nutrition courses (in-class and online), corporate wellness talks, workshops and when I have time, private consultations.
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