Rather than rely on artificially flavored and colored commercial products, why not make your own sports drink using fresh fruit juice? You will get genuine flavors, plus the added benefits of naturally occurring nutrients and phytochemicals. And you’ll save money.
A typical sports drink contains about 60 calories per cup, plus some sodium and potassium. The recipes below provide similar amounts of sodium and potassium as commercial beverages but just one-third the calories. These calories are negligible when you consider that the appealing fresh flavors of these recipes can help you consume more fluids, which may help you exercise longer and aid in your post-workout recovery. Of course, no one needs any kind of sports drink for short, less-intense workouts.
If you don’t already have the following ingredients, be sure to put them on your next shopping list.
Using fresh citrus: Dissolve 3 tablespoons sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt into 1½ liters (6½ cups) of water. Add the juice from 3 lemons or limes (or a combination of the two).
Using juice: Use 1¾ cups of orange juice, pomegranate juice or any 100 percent juice that contains at least 250 milligrams of potassium per 8-ounce serving. (You can vary the juices to keep the flavors interesting.) Add water to bring the total volume up to 1½ liters (about 6½ cups). Stir in ¼ teaspoon of salt until dissolved.
These homemade sports drinks are perishable, so keep them refrigerated.