Blog > Eat
July 31, 2019
3 ALTERNATIVES TO COSTLY SPORTS DRINKS | By Hubert Cormier
We can never stress this enough: hydration is crucial, especially when physical exercise causes significant water loss (through sweat, for example). It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the information available on working out—to the point of overspending—for the sake of health or performance. Here are some tips to ensure you stay properly hydrated without breaking the bank.
🥤 THE RIGHT INFORMATION
A product is effective not because of good advertising (that’s why companies continue to hire marketing experts), but because of what it specifically does for us. The best way to avoid falling into a whirlwind of spending is to have the right information. Generally speaking, we tend to overestimate the intensity of our workouts and, consequently, our post-workout needs. Also, for most people, there is no benefit to consuming drinks specifically made for before, during, and after workouts. The following tables will help you determine the best hydration based on your type of exercise.
Speaking of misinformation, what about coconut water? You should know that while there are many types of “natural” coconut water available, very few are 100% natural. Diluted or sweetened versions are common. Some companies even add other minerals. In terms of personal finances, it’s important to determine if the product’s hydrating effect is worth the price—and if you like the taste (personally, it took some getting used to). Unfortunately, studies comparing regular water’s hydrating effect with that of coconut water and sports drinks show that coconut water is no different than the other drinks. In fact, its retention rate and hydrating effect are quite comparable to those of regular water. If you like the taste, go ahead and enjoy it, but if the cost outweighs the taste, opt for water instead!
''Generally speaking, we tend to overestimate the intensity of our workouts and, consequently, our post-workout needs.''
🥤 PRODUCTS SOLD IN BULK
Many companies that offer bottled beverages also offer powdered products that you can make yourself, to your taste, which is great news! If you find the taste of commercial products too sweet, you can dilute it as you see fit and get the most bang for your buck! If your energy expenditure and water loss require more hydration, make sure your beverage offers at least:
💧 30 grams of carbohydrates
💧 >300 milligrams of sodium
💧 >300 milligrams of potassium
🥤 HOMEMADE BEVERAGE
Combine orange juice, water and a pinch of salt, and voilà! You now have the secret recipe for a hydrating beverage that provides all the electrolytes and carbohydrates you need. You’d prefer another flavour? No problem! Opt for another juice that provides the above nutrients and simply add two pinches of sodium-free salt (NoSalt—provides the potassium that is naturally present in oranges).
Here’s a simple recipe you can make at home:
💧 375 ml (1 ½ cups) pure orange juice, unsweetened
💧 250 ml (1 cup) boiled water, cooled
💧 1.25 ml (¼ tsp) salt
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