Tips for Making Great Sports Drinks at Home

Those sports drinks you are purchasing at the grocery store or health club may come in fancy packaging and be convenient, but you are paying four to five times more than you would for the raw ingredients to make these nutritious drinks at home. Sports drinks are great for helping to replenish the body’s energy either before or during exercise and every nutritious sports drink requires a combination of water, electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, and carbohydrates.

The Most Economical Mixtures.

One of the most economical and satisfying sports drinks you can concoct at home that costs only pennies per serving uses 8 ounces of water seasoned with two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a dash of sea salt and one-half teaspoon honey. This concoction can be prepared in the morning, then refrigerated and taken with you to your health club or other workout location.

Good old chocolate milk makes a good sports drink because it contains both protein and carbohydrates to replenish the body’s energy reserves. Unsweetened coconut water, mixed with a little bit of honey, orange juice or green tea is another winning sports drink mixture that is easy on the budget.

The Gatorade Alternative

Buying bottles of Gatorade at the supermarket on a weekly basis can really cut into your household’s food budget and  what you are really paying a premium price for for is the marketing and advertising of this popular sports drink. Did you know that you can create your very own healthful version of Gatorade in your home kitchen? Squeeze enough Valencia oranges to make one-half cup of juice, then blend this with three and a half cups of water, two and a half tablespoons of local honey, and one-quarter teaspoon salt. This recipe will make four 8-ounce servings, each containing 14 grams of carbohydrate and 160 milligrams of sodium, all packaged in a delicious low-calorie (50 calories) drink.

You can vary this Gatorade recipe by using one-half cup of lemonade, grape juice or cranberry juice in place of orange juice. You can also help to bump up the flavor of this beverage by mixing in a little sugar-free lemonade mix without increasing the calorie count beyond 50 calories per serving.

Go Organic

It’s easy to create an organic sports drink at home by filling a juice bottle with one-half water or freshly brewed green tea, and then blending with your choice of organic fruit juice, such as orange, lemon, apple, grapefruit or blueberry. Shake the container after you’ve added a pinch of organic sea salt and you are ready to enjoy.

Replenish Electrolytes

It’s important to keep replenishing your electrolytes during exercise and workout routines, and consuming sports drinks rich in electrolytes can help you maintain your energy level even during the most challenging workouts. For a great tasting homemade sports drink, combine 4 cups of hot water with the juice of one whole lemon, which is about one-fourth cup of lemon juice. Fresh is always the best ingredient, but use bottled lemons if you don’t have fresh. Then blend this mixture with one-fourth teaspoon sea salt and two tablespoons of your favorite honey variety, perhaps clover or orange blossom. Then chill this mixture overnight and pour it into several different sports bottles for easy transportation to and from your health club.

Experiment with different fruit juices and honey varieties and always taste the mixture right after you prepare it to ensure that it offers you a refreshing taste. Store homemade sports drinks in clean containers and be sure to wash and dry containers after use before refilling with a new sports drink mixture.

Susan writes for allpro.eu, mostly about college football.

Checking for Primary Ingredients: A Quick Way to Make Your Family Leaner and Healthier

Health is a primary concern for any mother with a family. We are always making sure that they are getting adequate nutrition by providing well-balanced meals full of veggies and proteins and light snacks low on sugar and other non-essentials. Normally, when shopping at the grocery store, I immediately begin scanning the nutrition bar on whatever item I pick up. If the calories and sugar content are low and my family loves it, then I toss it in the cart. However, I rarely look at the items primary ingredients.
Obesity and poor nutrition is a widespread problem in the U.S. Nearly one third of all children are considered obese, and most of these kids aren’t overweight because they gorge themselves on a daily basis, it’s because of the nutritional content of their food. Sure, I’m dodging a bullet by reducing my kids’ sugar consumption, and making sure that they get daily exercise, but I haven’t actually began reading the primary ingredients of certain products I give them until recently.

I was watching TV one night when a commercial for dog food came on. Nothing unusual, and I almost began my frantic 5 minute only-during-commercials clean up routine when a comment from the commercial stuck with me: “The primary ingredients of my dog’s food were corn meal and chicken by-product.” The dog trainer on the commercial reminded the dog owner that this is always why we check ingredients first.

How backwards, I thought. We are willing to check the primary ingredients in our dog’s kibble before we even check the content of our own food? The only time I have really checked ingredients is when I am looking at fruit juices to make sure that I am getting a brand that really does have fruit juice in it. I was a little disturbed. I didn’t want to be feeding my kids, or myself, food of poor quality so instead of finishing my show, I raided the pantry.

I was down right appalled. Some of my family’s favorites which boasted titles such as Au Gratin potatoes or Macaroni and Cheese, didn’t have potatoes or cheese listed as their primary ingredients. I know that whole foods are always better, but not everyone has the time to fully prepare such food at every meal and I had expected the food industry to understand this by providing moms with nutritious meals and fix-ins. I was wrong, and my next trip to the grocery store took twice as long as it normally did.

In addition to all nutrition labels, I also checked out the ingredients list. If it didn’t have something I recognized or items that the title boasted in the first three spots, I didn’t buy it. What I was able to find, however, was a whole bunch of other products that were similar to the ones my family love at an affordable price with better nutritional content. That meant more fiber and protein in my family’s diet which are needed to maintain healthy bodies.

I felt so much better about restocking my pantry with more wholesome foods, but have to admit that it was a little funny to think that a dog food commercial had prompted me to rethink my shopping. Next time you go to the store, look at the primary ingredients of your family’s favorites. You may be surprise to find that a different brand may offer better nutrition which can result in your family being healthier and lighter with very little effort.


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