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Everywhere you look, you see athletes downing bottles of brightly colored liquids in ads and at sporting events.  Are all these so-called “sports drinks” really good for you?  They’re supposed to replenish electrolytes during or after periods of heavy exercise.  In reality, these drinks are little more than sugar water…or even worse.  They’re loaded with sweetener in the form of genetically modified, high-fructose corn syrup, and contain artificial flavors and colors.  And did we mention the outrageous cost?

Basically, electrolytes consist mainly of calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium chloride, and some hydrogen salts.  They are vital for our survival and regulate nerve and muscle function, hydration, blood pH, are responsible for rebuilding damaged tissue, and determine blood pressure.  There are actually multiple ways to get fresh and natural electrolyte replenishment from foods such as oranges, coconuts and honey.  So why not save money by preparing your own sports drink that your body will embrace?

Here are a few homemade recipes ideas:

Fast and Easy Recipe

1 gallon pure water (not tap water)

1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon sea salt

Mix together and drink. 

Citrus Cooler 

1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ to 2 cups fresh water

1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

2 tablespoons natural sugar or honey, to taste

Put all ingredients into blender and blend until honey is dissolved.  Pour into a tall glass over a few ice cubes.

Sweet and Cool

2 cups of coconut water

1 cup of strawberries

2 cup of fresh water

1 cup of ice

1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

2 tablespoons honey, to taste

Put all ingredients into blender and mix until smooth.

Healthy Store-Bought Electrolyte Drinks:

Pure coconut water – contains five essential electrolytes, plus more potassium than a banana! With no added sugar and no fat, it’s the most natural way to rehydrate and replenish lost nutrients.

Emergen-C  You can make water into a sports drink instantly. The regular Emergen-C contains electrolytes, but they also make an Electro Mix formula that has zero calories, is naturally flavored, and sweetened with stevia.