Athletes and exercise enthusiasts look to Gatorade and other sports drink brands to replenish fluids and recharge the body with electrolytes. While these types of sports drinks are beneficial after a hard workout, they also contain a bit more sugar than the average person would like to consume. Luckily there are recipes to make sugar-free sports drinks that have the same benefits as their sugary counterparts.
The sugar contained in most sports drinks is about half of most bottled sodas or juices. The reason for this is simple: consuming too much sugar at one time can slow the body's absorption of water. Sugar is added primarily for taste, but it also supplies our bodies with carbohydrates.
Instead of consuming a sugary sports drink for energy, you could eat a piece of fruit and drink a sugar-free sports drink instead. This is a more sensible choice: it has been found in some preliminary studies that people who cut carbohydrates from their diets adjust to using fat for energy. This process can start two to three weeks from switching to a low carbohydrate diet. Eating a well-balanced diet supplies our bodies with plenty of minerals and the electrolytes we need. While a healthy diet may supply the moderate exerciser with enough of this nutrient type, a high-endurance athlete may need more potassium and sodium because they can sweat quite a bit of water per day. So what we need in a sugarless sports drink is water, potassium and sodium.
Now that we know what we need in our sugar-free sports drink, we can begin to construct a suitable recipe. A typical eight-ounce sports drink contains 110mg of sodium, which is approximately one twentieth of a teaspoon of salt. Most sports drinks also contain 30 mg of potassium which is the equivalent to one bite of a banana. Sports drinks very contain small amounts of potassium and sodium. However, this is sufficient for our needs.
Sugar-Free Sports Drink Recipe:
Two tablespoons of the juice of a lemon has approximately the same amount of potassium as a common sports drink. To make a sugar free sports drink just combine together the following with sweetener to taste:
- 8 ounces of water
- Two tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- A pinch of salt
- Flavoring or sweetener of choice
We can add the natural sweetener stevia or any number of commercial sugar-free water drink mixes to flavor or sweeten our sports drink. Consider using the following:
- Crystal Light
- Sugar-Free Kool-Aid or Hawaiian Punch
- Sugarless flavored syrups