Think you need artificially colored and flavored sports drinks to fuel your workout? Try some of these natural sports drink alternatives instead!
The first thing that you have to ask yourself is whether you really even need a sports drink. I researched a piece for How Stuff Works on the origins of sports drinks, and one thing I discovered is that a lot of folks are drinking these beverages that don’t really need them. If you’re working out for less than 45 minutes, chances are you aren’t losing enough electrolytes to need all of that sugar and salt (unless it’s very hot out). Plain old water is often the best drink for post-workout recovery, but when you’re working out longer or in extreme heat, why buy a processed bottle of artificial ingredients when you can make your own natural sports drink alternatives instead?
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A couple of weeks ago I started a half-marathon training program, and it’s been fun to work towards distance running again. I love hitting the road and seeing how far I can push myself. What I don’t love quite as much is how deeply thirsty I get on my long runs. It feels like I can’t drink enough water, and that’s where sports drinks have their place.
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The idea behind sports drinks is basically to replace what you’ve lost through sweat in an intense workout. That means they include a combination of fluids, sugar, salt and electrolytes. There are lots of ways that you can get those things in a drink, and I’ve found some yummy and creative recipes, including one that I developed myself.
Next time you’re planning an endurance workout, try one of these natural sports drink alternatives!