Staying hydrated while exercising is very important. Most of the time, when teaching, I bring water to class. If I’m attending class at my instructor’s school or practicing on my own, I might bring something else to supplement water.
Since March is National Nutrition Month, I’m going to share with you my favorite electrolyte-replenishing drink.
What Are Electrolytes?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine website,
“Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge.
“Electrolytes affect the amount of water in your body, the acidity of your blood (pH), your muscle function, and other important processes. You lose electrolytes when you sweat. You must replace them by drinking fluids that contain electrolytes. Water does not contain electrolytes.”
The website also lists several common electrolytes that your body needs — which you can get from a little bit of salt in your diet as well as fruits and vegetables.
Gatorade and Powerade are two popular drinks that are meant to replenish electrolytes. I remember, as a kid, getting Gatorade when I was sick. Some of you may have had the same experience. Didn’t the flavor seem different back then? Doesn’t Gatorade seem sweeter now?
Powerade contains High Fructose Corn Syrup and Gatorade has its own sweeteners that are just not good for you. I admit that I am guilty of drinking too much Gatorade through the years. So, I “discovered” an alternative that suits me well and is a healthier alternative.
I don’t know where I picked it up, but instead of “Gatorade”, I like to call this recipe “Gator-ain’t”.
- 1/2 a bottle of water (just fill a refillable water bottle from the tap)
- 1/2 a bottle of natural juice (fill the refillable water bottle with a natural juice that has no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives)
- a pinch of salt
You can increase the amount of water and decrease the juice level to taste, but I don’t recommend adding too much juice because that can upset your stomach while exercising.
Want to super-charge your electrolyte replenishment? Eat a banana before or after working out. It’s pretty mild on the stomach and is full of important nutrients and electrolytes.
If you really want to make some fancier electrolyte drinks, here are a couple of links with Gatorade alternatives: