You know that feeling, when you get so lost in your training, you forget to drink water for hours longer than you should have? I’m talking about the point where you don’t even have saliva anymore. How about that satisfying feeling, after that, of taking your first drink of liquid? That first moment of quenching your thirst is a special moment, you have to do it right.
So what exactly should you be quenching your thirst with? Water you can’t go wrong with, really, but when you’re out training for hours on end, especially in the heat, you’re losing electrolytes that need to be replenished. Therefore, quenching your thirst with a sports drink is going to help you rehydrate and recuperate faster.
DO NOT STOP READING HERE!
Before you go to your nearest gas station and stock up on sports drinks, I am not talking about just ANY sports drink. I’m sure you’ve heard somewhere, sports drinks are a good choice, because they provide you with electrolytes. The truth is, most sports drinks have WAY too much sugar, artificial flavors, dyes, other harmful ingredients, and hardly any electrolytes.
“Nature has endowed us with a mechanism that can in fact help us determine how much water we need to be drinking per day.”
You’re far better off making your own. Here are some of my top recommendations for beverages to bring with you to training sessions/awesome recipes for homemade sports drinks:
Water (if you can get distilled water, even better). If you’re one of those people who thinks plain water is too boring, and you have trouble drinking it, carbonated water with some lemon or lime squeezed in is also an easy substitute.
Coconut water (you can add a little bit of sea salt for extra benefit)
Watermelon Sports Drink from Paleoleap.com :
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 cup watermelon, cut into cubes
- Juice from half a lime
- Pinch of sea salt; (optional)
- Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Natural Sports Drink by wellnessmama.com:
- 1 quart of liquid (options: green tea, herbal teas, coconut water, plain water, etc)
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
- ¼ to ½ tsp crushed Calcium magnesium tablets or powder (optional)
- ¼ cup or more of juice (optional. Can use grape, apple, lemon, lime, pineapple, etc).
- 1-2 TBSP sweetener (optional)- can use honey, stevia, etc.
I suggest brewing stevia leaf into the base liquid for the most natural option.
Brew tea if using or slightly warm base liquid
Add sea salt and calcium magnesium (if using)
Add juice and mix or shake well
Cool and store in fridge until ready to use
Try these out and let me know what you think!
Other tips for hydration:
How much fluid should you be drinking:
As far as how much you should be drinking, there is are plenty of mixed messages floating around, and there’s no hard, scientific proof, or exact calculations you can do, to predict the exact amount of water you should drink. Use your thirst as a guide, but you should also play with your water intake a bit, to find out what works best for you.
I downloaded an app called waterlogged so I could keep track of my water intake, and figure out what worked best for me. Keep in mind, you eat a lot of your fluids too, especially if you eat large quantities of fruits, veggies, soups, etc. As an athlete, however, you might want to drink a little more often, than only when you feel thirsty.
What should you be drinking your fluids out of:
You should always try to drink out of stainless steel, or glass, whenever possible, due to the health risks posed from plastic bottles. In fact, Chris Kresser has a great article on this topic: http://chriskresser.com/warning-drinking-bottled-water-could-make-you-fat
Thanks for reading, I hope you learned something new, let me know if you have any other at home recipes you love to use in place of sports drinks!
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