By Jamie-Lynn Shaw, BHSc, CNP, PTS, NNCP
When people think electrolyte drinks, they often refer to Gatorade and Powerade for an extra boost. However, not enough people take into consideration the amount of sugar and harmful ingredients that are being added to these popularized electrolyte drinks. These drinks are causing more harm than good. A quick and easy solution to this is to create your own natural electrolyte drink using the ingredients listed below.
- 1 quart coconut water
- ¼ tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp calcium magnesium powder (optional)
- ½ a fresh lemon
- 1-2 tbsp sweetener (honey or stevia leaf)
If you’re still unsure about this natural recipe and how it helps, here is a breakdown of these ingredients and how they are helpful post-workout.
Coconut water is a great electrolyte drink as it contains more potassium and sodium than any other sports drink and is great for rehydrating the body. Potassium is required post-workout to maintain water balance. Sodium post workout will help to prevent weakness, muscle cramping, nausea and headaches. The Himalayan salt or any other high-quality salt is added to increase sodium levels. Sodium is the highest concentration lost in sweat and therefore needs the highest amount of replenishment post-workout. The calcium and magnesium powder also helps to replenish the body of minerals. This is important because the body needs calcium for healthy bones and for preventing muscle spasms. Whereas magnesium needs to be replenished as it helps to metabolize food and therefore aids in energy production. Another benefit of magnesium is that it is used for relaxing the muscles. The lemon contains calcium and potassium as well, and will also help with the taste. The sweetener is used for taste and can help to boost blood sugar levels.
After a strenuous workout, the body loses lots of liquids, electrolytes and blood sugar. The idea is to rebalance your fluids and regulate neural activity and muscle function. By replenishing your electrolytes, you are helping to rebalance your body and restore your body’s energy levels.
Jamie-Lynn Shaw, BHSc, CNP, PTS, NNC , is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, based in the Ottawa area. For more recipes visit http://www.jamielynnshaw.com