These days, everyone knows that hydration is important. Water is essential to our health and well-being. When you practice sports or work out, though, there are other elements to keep in mind. As we exercise for an hour or mote, we lose not only hydration but electrolytes.
The essential guideline is:
- 2 cups of fluid about 2 hours before you start;
- 4-6 ounces every 15-20 minutes.
Electrolytes – sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium – are essential to many bodily functions. In fact, if you don’t replenish them over a longer workout, it will impair your ability to continue.
- They regulate nerve and muscle functions;
- Blood pH;
- Help to repair and rebuild damaged tissue;
- Determine blood pressure.
Just for your heart to contract – one single beat – or any muscle to function, it requires calcium, sodium, and potassium. Without an adequate supply of electrolytes, your muscles will experience fatigue and you won’t be able to continue.
Commercially prepared sports drinks can help keep you hydrated and replenish lost electrolytes. But, they also contain artificial colors and flavors, and other undesirable ingredients. The good news is that it’s easy to make your own DIY sports drinks based on citrus fruits, which are good sources of many of the nutrients you’ll need.
- A medium sized orange contains about 12g of carbohydrates, 181g potassium, magnesium 14.1mg, calcium 40mg
- A medium sized lemon contains 9g of carbohydrates, 138g of potassium, 2g sodium, magnesium 13mg, calcium 65.9mg
In addition, the sugars in citrus fruits are easily digestible, and come with a complement of vitamins, enzymes, and other nutrients. That makes them a fantastic base ingredient for sports drinks. Other simple ingredients like honey or maple syrup and sea salt add more electrolyte power (sodium,) minerals, and other good for you nutrients.
DIY Orange-Lemon Sports Drink
3-4 cups water
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy.