The bad news: Water may not be enough. Athletes who choose only water over sports drinks because they dislike the sweetness may have a difficult time efficiently fueling their bodies during endurance events. This can result in early fatigue from lack of carbohydrates and cramping caused by low electrolyte levels.
The good news: There is a solution
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to get the fluid, carbohydrate and sodium that you need during longer distance or higher intensity activity is to make a homemade sports drink.
The following recipe was sampled at an event, and it was incredibly well received. With very little flavor, it provides the carbohydrates and sodium to keep your body going during endurance events. Another advantage- it’s clear, so if you spill it on your uniform no one will know. If traditional sports drinks are not for you, try this homemade replacement instead.
- 8 teaspoons white granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lime juice (lemon juice also works)
- 24 ounces (3 cups) of water
Mix the first four ingredients into the water, stirring until dissolved.
Note: Using warm or hot water will aid in dissolving the added ingredients.Nutritional Information (per 8 ounces): Calories: 58 Fat: 0 Sodium: 258 mg Carbohydrates: 15 gm
With a higher amount of sodium than most sports drinks on the market, this is a good choice for individuals who are salty sweaters (If you can taste the salt in your sweat, or you can see white residue on your body after your sweat has begun to evaporate, you are a salty sweater).
For individuals who are not salty sweaters, and would prefer less sodium in their sports drink, using ¼ teaspoon of salt will provide 194 mg of sodium. This recipe can be altered in a variety of ways to change the flavor. Try diluted juice in place of 1/2 the water or mixing the extra carbohydrate and sodium with coconut water.
Let us know what you think!