Ihave to admit – I love those sports drink ads where all the athletes are in the heat of battle, they’re sweating so much they can barely see – on the verge of scoring that final precious point. But do you really need that sports drink to win the game and keep dehydration at bay?
The short answer is no. Normally, an average workout doesn’t dehydrate you; however if you don’t regularly drink water – you might be on the verge of dehydration. Athletes, on the other hand, who do prolonged, grueling physical activity like running a marathon or playing in intense soccer tournaments do need the help of electrolyte-rich drinks that help keep stay hydrated and balanced.
Being well hydrated – no matter how many times you visit the gym or are on the playing field – is critical for your every-day life and maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, it has been proven to help you lose weight, improve the quality and look of your skin, and keep your organs running smoothly.
So what are you really getting out of those sports drinks and colored waters that are supposed to add “zing” to your life? Unfortunately, many of them add lots of empty calories from sugar, artificial colorings, preservatives and potentially harmful sweeteners. Most vitamin or electrolyte-enriched waters have 125 calories per 20 ounce bottle and 33 grams of sugar!
But let’s say that you’re bored of just plain water? Make your own sports drink and flavored waters that are delicious and really healthy!
- Sports Drink Grapefruit juice makes the best sports drink because it’s so high in potassium – a salt that can be lost through dehydration.
- Flavored Water Add zest to your life, not unwanted sugar. Use lemon, orange, grapefruit zest in your tap or fizzy water.
- Get fresh – Use Mint. Mint has a refreshing taste that almost everyone enjoys and it infuses liquids well. Add a sprig to your water and you’ll have a refreshing treat!
- It is easy being Green. Make a green tea refresher that you can store in the fridge in a large pitcher. You’ll have plenty of iced green tea when your mouth needs a change!
- Fruit concentrates that you can buy ahead and keep in the freezer for easy prep – but use sparingly – my picks are cranberry and grape with no added sugar.
- Fresh fruit – I always have some fresh citrus in the fridge that can last up to 3 weeks in your crisper – lemons are luscious and a fresh squeeze adds interest to teas and water plus a little vitamin C!
- Stock your stash. I have a basket in my cupboard loaded with flavored herbal teas – my favorite is redbush – many are caffeine-free and it has been known to calm the nerves and sooth the digestive tract. It comes in tons of flavors like vanilla and Goji Berry.
- Chill out. With summer just around the corner, warm weather will cause serious thirst! All of these drinks are great on ice, but are also delicious frozen as a slushie or made into a popsicle.
- Read more about the health benefits of green tea.
- Find out more about why you should try to avoid artificial sweeteners.