We’ve all heard about electrolytes and how important they are to our bodies — particularly after exercise. In fact, electrolytes such as calcium, sodium, magnesium and potassium are vital to our health for a whole host of reasons, including regulating energy, pH levels and muscle contractions — among many other things.
With a balanced diet, your body does a great job of maintaining proper levels of electrolytes so that everything runs correctly and efficiently. However, despite its many benefits, exercise can throw off these levels. While you may be burning off last night’s margaritas, you’re also sweating out a good portion of essential electrolytes.
Low-intensity or short-duration workouts most likely will not call for electrolyte replenishment, but during and after those one-hour (or more) sweat sessions, you’ll want to have something to keep your electrolyte and energy levels high.
There are many sports drinks on the market used to replace electrolytes lost during exercise (surely, you’ve heard of Gatorade), but the majority of them are loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, food dyes and additives. If the electrolytes in your body are natural, wouldn’t you want to replenish them with electrolytes from natural sources, too?
Luckily, there are plenty of simple recipes you can make using natural ingredients that can be found at any grocery store; you might even have some of the items in your pantry already. Here are three easy recipes to sip on during your next workout, and they’re all five ingredients or less!
Piña Colada Energizer
This electrolyte beverage uses coconut water as a base due to its incredible replenishment powers. You can use coconut water as a sports drink on its own, or you can follow the recipe below for a fun, tropical drink that is great after a run in the heat. Coconut water has five times the amount of potassium as Gatorade, and when combined with salt, it is the perfect rehydration beverage.
Mix all ingredients together and enjoy.
On-the-Go Magnesium Magic
This drink is perfect for when you’re rushing out the door. All you need is some magnesium powder and a bottle of your favorite all-natural juice, and you have a quick, healthy, effective sports drink at your fingertips.
- Open bottle of juice and take a sip or two to create a little space.
- Add in magnesium powder and salt.
- Reseal bottle, shake up and drink on the go.
Maple Mint Green Tea
Green tea is full of antioxidants and has the ideal amount of caffeine to help give you an energy boost after a workout, making it a great base for an electrolyte-filled sports drink. Add some maple syrup for carbohydrates, mint for a pop of flavor and a pinch of salt for rehydration, and you’ve whipped up a refreshing, rejuvenating beverage.
- In medium pot, boil water.
- Steep tea bags for 6 to 8 minutes, or steep for several hours in cold water.
- Mix in maple syrup, salt and mint sprigs. Store in a pitcher for easy access.
Tip: Place in the sun for a few hours while the tea is steeping to really help the flavors come out.