You might want to think twice before reaching for that sugary store-bought sports beverage after your run. Sure, it’s packed with hydrating electrolytes, but it’s also loaded with added sugar and calories. Why not create a homemade version so that you can control exactly what goes into it?
New York City-based Sports Dietitian Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, has concocted a simple DIY sports drink that can be made in a matter of minutes!
Ingredients in a DIY Healthy Sports Drink
Blueberries and raspberries offer natural sugars, also known as carbohydrates. Believe it or not, carbs, in the form of sugar, provide energy for exercise. “Our body stores carbs in the muscle and liver — it’s called glycogen — and we use any dietary carbs and stored carbs to power us through exercise,” said Rizzo.
If you’re exercising for more than an hour, you want carbohydrates that will help keep you going. Another good option? Blueberries and raspberries, which are also packed with antioxidants and help to fight and calm inflammation. Adding frozen berries to water and letting them sit overnight “gives the water a sweet taste without adding any sugar,” Rizzo added.
Coconut water is the fluid source in this sports drink. Rizzo uses it instead of plain water, because it has potassium, an important electrolyte. “Electrolytes are the minerals lost in sweat — mainly sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium,” Rizzo explained. “Essentially, these electrolytes are needed to balance the amount of water in the body and keep you hydrated.”
Add a pinch of salt to your sports drink, too. A major component of sweat is sodium (which you lose during an intense workout), so taking in salt is an important part of hydration, Rizzo pointed out.
One thing to keep in mind when adding fruit to your DIY sports drink: citrus fruits are highly acidic foods, which means they can put your enamel at risk for acid erosion. Brushing with Pronamel Strong & Bright twice a day not only provides cavity protection, but actively protects your enamel against the effects of acid erosion while also helping to strengthen it.
Mixed Berry Sports Drink Recipe From Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
- 24-ounces coconut water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy in a glass after your morning run or pour the mixture into a hydration bottle and take it to your favorite workout class. The recipe makes two sports drinks, so you’ll have one for yourself and one for a friend.