Sports drinks are loaded with sugars, additives, and calories that you don’t need even when you’re completely depleted and dehydrated. These are the drinks that we’re tempted to drink when we’re super thirsty, but they’re also the drinks that will take us back to square one. Being hydrated is crucial, so here are 4 healthy alternatives to sports drinks.
First let’s go over why we need to stay hydrated. Water plays numerous roles in the bodies metabolic systems. It’s also one of the ultimate health boosters.
When you’re feeling thirsty you’ve already entered the beginning stages of dehydration. Lack of fluids in the body is nothing to be taken lightly. It can have debilitating side effects if you let it go too far.
Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and others play a major role in blood pressure maintenance, proper muscle function, and other metabolic processes. Sports drinks provide these electrolytes that are offset due to sweating. But there are other ways to get hydrated and replace electrolytes without the unhealthy sport drinks.
1 – Chocolate Milk
Studies have supported the fact that low-fat chocolate milk is one of the best drinks out there for muscle recovery and replacing lost nutrients.
The only downfall that chocolate milk has is the sugar content. If you buy it from the store in a bottle you’ll probably find a load of sugar in most brands.
To make your own chocolate milk with reduced sugar, the best way to go is mixing a little bit of chocolate powder into low fat milk.
2 – Fruit & Vegetable Juice
Juicing gives you all the benefits of fruit juice, without all the extra sugar and additives. Juicing can change your life, or at the very least, replace the electrolytes that you lost after a long run.
When you’re juicing don’t forget that one of the best parts of the fruit and vegetables are in the skin and other parts that you might just peel off and throw away.
Often times those pieces have the highest content of fiber. Whether you’re hydrated or not it’s recommended to take in about 35 grams of fiber per day.
3 – Coconut Water
Coconut water contains all 5 essential electrolytes. It also has way more potassium than a banana, which is probably one of the first things that comes to mind when you’re looking for potassium.
Obviously finding a coconut to crack open would be almost impossible unless you’re in the caribbean. Just getting the juice out of it and carrying it around would be a pain in the you know what. That’s why it’s good that a lot of different brands of prepackaged coconut waters popping up everywhere.
Make Your Own
The base of your home made drink should always be water. Start with 3 or 4 cups and add ingredients to it.
Your ingredients can be anything that you think would go together well. Try adding half a cup of cherry juice, quarter cup lemon juice, and half a cup of orange juice. If you’re really dehydrated or you’re experiencing muscle cramps you may even want to throw in some pinches of salt.
Mix and match with different fruit juice ingredients and even honey or maple syrup to add some extra sweetness.
I hope you enjoyed this article and it convinced you to try these alternatives to those unhealthy sports drinks. Please take a second to share this article on facebook. Since there’s all this talk about fruit being so bad for you…..what about fruit? Is it your sidekick your your saboteur?