Playing tennis in the heat of summer means a little extra sweat… okay, a LOT of extra sweat. And while it’s extremely important to hydrate well no matter what time of year it is, it’s especially important in the summer.
I used to think that Gatorade or other similar sports drinks were the best way to replenish fluids and electrolytes during and after a match or workout. Sometimes I would even drink it as a water substitute because I thought it was healthier…and it had flavor. I mean, Gatorade has sodium and electrolytes, so it must be better than plain water, right?
Wrong! Gatorade and other heavily branded sports drinks are loaded with processed sugars and chemicals, some of which may be linked to hyperactivity in children and cancer! Yikes!
I don’t know about you, but I have a few concerns about these ingredients:
- Yellow 5: An artificial color that creates a yellow color in many different foods and drinks. Studies have shown that this artificial colorant and several of the others may be linked to hyperactivity in children and cancer. While it is approved by the FDA for consumption in the US, it is banned in some parts of Europe, and in other places, anything containing this ingredient must carry warning labels. It provides absolutely no positive health benefit and its sole purpose is to make your drink look more appealing.
- Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate: An emulsifier that helps keep the other ingredients from separating in your drink. It is considered safe for humans in limited quantities, but studies in dogs have indicated enlarged livers as a result of long-term ingestion.
- Monopotassium Phosphate: Also known as a fertilizer and fungicide… WTF?!
As far as I tell, NONE of these ingredients are necessary, and they all seem unfit for human consumption, so I created my own version of the popular sports drink that only contains GOOD things for your bod! Make a little for now, or make a lot and keep it stored in your fridge (for a few days.)
So…now, let’s talk about THESE ingredients!
- Coconut water is often referred to as ‘Nature’s Gatorade’. Just what we’re going for here, right? It’s packed full of potassium and is a wonderful natural hydrator.
Himalayan pink salt:
While this will replace the sodium that you lose when you sweat, Himalayan Pink Salt also has a ton of other benefits:
- Contains 80+ minerals that are easily absorbed into our cells.
- Balances electrolytes in our body
- Increases hydration
- Balances pH
- Prevents muscle cramping
- Strengthens bones
- Helps your body and intestines better absorb nutrients
- Even possibly helps detoxifies the body from heavy metals.
If you don’t have Himalayan pink salt on hand, a good alternative is natural sea salt. Whatever you do, avoid table salt. Most table salt has been stripped of all it’s minerals (besides sodium and chloride), bleached, and chemically cleaned. Often, it also has an anti-caking agent added that can cause build up in our bodies leading to an array of health problems. Not what we’re going for here, peeps!
Juice from freshly-squeezed lemons and limes:
- Contains vitamins, enzymes, and easily digestible sugars that your body can use for energy and recovery.
- The vitamin C rejuvenates your skin from the inside out!
- The citric acid is highly electrically active, and the water helps deliver the electrolytes directly to your cells.
Raw, unfiltered honey
Not only does this naturally sweeten your drink, but it provides additional health benefits:
- Rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids.
- Also rich in easily digestible sugars your body can use for energy.
- Contains anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that help protect your cells from damage.
Just make sure to get raw, unfiltered honey. Commercial honey has usually been heavily processed and chemically treated. It has also been heated which destroys many of the beneficial natural vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
So there you have it! All that good stuff you expect from a sports drink with none of the bad stuff… and it tastes as good as if not better than Gatorade!
All-Natural Gatorade Alternative
- Add all ingredients to your blender. Process on high 2-3 minutes until honey is fully incorporated.
- Pour into an ice-filled glass and enjoy!