By Dr. Lorraine Williams, aka TrackMom
Many parents of athletes ask ,”With prices on everything going up how do I provide quality sports drinks on a budget?”
I have written many times in the past about Homemade Sports Drinks. I frequently receive requests for these recipes, here are a couple of quick and easy recipes. Over the course of a year, you can save hundreds of dollars on sports drinks. (an average bottle of 16oz Gatorade can be almost $1.00 each.)
Sports drinks like Gatorade ™ can be very useful for longer runs and races. Unfortunately, they are also very expensive and full of High Fructose Corn Syrup (Gatorade no longer contains HFCS as I learned in my recent trip to the Gatorade HQ). I’ve found a couple of ways of making sports drinks that are effective and cheap. The ideas for the recipe, like most good running ideas, first came to me from The Dead Runners’ Society.
Gatorade ™ has worked hard to come up with what they feel is a good balance of carbohydrates and electrolytes for extended physical activity – it is actually the most researched sports drink on the market. Most researchers agree that the optimal concentration of carbohydrates in a sports drink is about 6%. This concentration actually allows the water to be absorbed more quickly in the body than plain water alone.
Gatorade has a formulation that gives the following for an 8oz serving:
Assuming that is a pretty good formula, we can get close by using one of the following recipes:
Homemade Sports Drink Recipe #1
The recipe will give a total of 124 grams of solute which in 2 liters water gives a total of 6.2% concentration. For an 8 oz serving this gives:
You’ll notice that the amount of potassium is quite a bit higher than Gatorade, but the rest is pretty close. If you wanted to reduce the potassium, another option would be to use 1/2 tsp. each of regular sea salt and the Morton Lite Salt. This would change it to:
Homemade Sports Drink Recipe #2
If you wanted to reduce the amount of potassium, or simply didn’t want to buy some Morton Lite Salt, here is another option.