I have never been a big fan of sports drinks but with these long runs comes some severe dehydration. I find that any run over 5 miles puts me at risk of a hankering headache either later that day or even sometimes the next day. I'm almost positive that these headaches are due to do my fluid and electrolyte loss and their inadequate replenishment. Hence the sports drink.
A general rule of thumb for a sports drink is 6% carbs for fast glucose replacement and 80-100 mg of sodium per serving due to the loss in sweat. While a sports drink like Gatorade can supply hydration, sugar, and electrolytes, along with them comes preservatives and artificial colors and flavors. Not exactly ingredients we want to be fueling our bodies with, right? I'm more into the real thing, real colors, real flavors, and naturally occurring electrolytes in real food.
in a 1 quart mason jar add
- 1/2 cup black cherry juice, cranberry juice, or other 100% juice of your choice
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 orange (half juiced, half sliced)
- top up with filtered water
This includes the whole quart, orange slices and all
- 197 calories
- 47 g total carbohydrates
- 37 g sugar
- 296 mg sodium
- 507 mg potassium
This comes to about 5% carbs by weight and makes four 8 oz servings. These were calculated using the USDA Food database and nutrition panels on the juice and the maple syrup. Numbers will vary depending on what type and brand of juice you choose to use, the size and type of orange you use, and your salt measuring skills (because most measuring spoon sets only go down to 1/4 tsp) so don't get caught up in the numbers. I made this on the lighter side so if you are working out at a super high intensity there is room to vamp up the glucose (by adding more juice or maple syrup) and/or the sodium content (though you probably won't want more than 1/4 tsp per quart). As long as you are using real fruit juice and real fruit you are getting plenty of potassium. But play around with it and find what works for you!
Now get up and start moving and sweating so you can put your new sports drink to the test!