I remember reading about a DIY sports drink a couple of years back and it caught my interest because I was going through a lot of powdered Gatorade which is next to impossible to find in Ireland, or spending too much money on Lucozade Sport or equivalent sports energy drinks. Athletes drink a lot in training and I wanted to make my own sports drinks to save money and also because I can tailor the ingredients better to my needs.
The important ingredients of a sports drink are:
- water keep the body hydrated,
- salts to both
- aid in that hydration (salt makes the solution isotonic) and to
- replace some (but not all) of the lost salts from sweat, and
- carbohydrates (sugars) for energy.
It’s pretty easy to figure out a simple recipe if you want to make your own sports drink. Mess with the amounts to make it taste ok but don’t over do the sugar or salt:
- 70% water
- 30% orange juice
- small amount of sugar to your energy and taste needs
- pinch of salt (sodium is good, great if you can get some with potassium also)
That’s it. Simple, eh? Covers the basics, is dead cheap and tastes just fine. So that’s a bit basic, what else can you make?
One I’ve heard of cyclists using a lot years ago is flat coke, they shake it up to remove the gas which can interfere with digestion. I don’t know if they add salt but would make sense. This explains why a lot of pro-cyclists have bad teeth
Here’s another energy drink do it yourself receipe from Mike Greary:
1. Make a big iced tea mixture using green tea, white tea, and yerba mate tea. I like to add a little fruit flavor, so I’ll use 1 tea bag of a raspberry or blueberry hibiscus tea, and then use 2-3 green and/or white tea bags, and 2-3 yerba mate tea bags, and make a gallon container of iced tea. I just use a small amount of stevia to lightly sweeten the batch of tea.
2. I buy a container of organic coconut water from a health food store, or buy fresh coconuts to obtain the coconut water from the inside.
3. For my healthy energy drink, I mix a half of a glass of the white/green/yerba mate iced tea mixture and fill the rest of the glass with the coconut water.
This is actually a delicious and truly healthy energy drink instead of the chemical-laden crappy energy drinks that everybody is getting suckered into buying these days.
Here’s another DIY energy drink recipe which I saw over at Yaniverse – (s)he calls “EnerT”. The ingredients for 1000ml:
- 2 Tea Bags
- 6 level teaspoon sugar (24 grams)
- A pinch of salt (0.5 grams)
- 2 oz lemon juice (about 55 grams)
- 30 oz boiling water
I opted for tea as caffeine has a beneficial workout benefit, and tea provides a low-level caffeine, striking my personally preferred balanced between ‘waking’ and ‘wired’. Any level of sugars under 8% is acceptable, but I find Gatorade to be overly caloric for those of us trying to balance increased workout performance with weight loss/maintenance.
Good point on the caffeine, and the sugar content is interesting too, I didn’t realise Gatorade was so high in calories.