“I never drink water because of the disgusting things fish do in it” – W.C. Fields
How much do you spend on sports drinks every week?
I probably spend $4-5 for my pre- and post-match drinks, adding up to about $20 per month and $240 per year. But what if it was possible to make your own that tastes just as good and hydrates just as well but costs pennies?
This week, I reveal why sports drinks are better for you than water alone, what the different types of sports drinks are and how you make your own tasty sports drinks for less than 20 pence each.
Why Do You Need to Drink Fluids?
Your body sweats as a mechanism to control your core temperature. The evaporation of sweat from your skin causes a cooling effect, which is a vital process for keeping you cool when temperatures rise. However, if you do not replace the water and electrolytes you sweat then this can lead to dehydration, which can severely affect your performance on the pitch.
The replenishment of the electrolytes is just as important as the fluid. Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and many others are essential for control how water moves through the body and help to regulate the pH levels of your cells.
Glucose also plays an important role, as our body takes it on as carbohydrates and is used as a source of energy to fuel our body during a match. Intense exercise can burn glucose at a rate of 3-4g per minute and as your levels run low then your performance will be adversely affected. Therefore, it is important to take on carbohydrates before and after a match to maintain your body’s glucose stores.
However, you need to choose your sports drink carefully, depending on what levels of each of these three elements you need.
The 3 Types of Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are available in 3 types –
- Isotonic – contains fluid, electrolytes and carb levels similar to your normal blood levels (about 7%)
- Hypotonic – contains fluid, electrolytes and low carb levels
- Hypertonic – contains fluid, electrolytes and high carb levels
Isotonic drinks are the most common and are consumed by most athletes. These are great at replenishing lost fluid and providing a boost of fuel – as the composition is similar to that of your blood they reach the right parts of your body quickly
Hypotonic drinks are designed to replenish fluids but avoid a carb boost and best used by specialist athletes, such as gymnasts or jockeys.
Hypertonic drinks act as a supplement to replenish stores and are best used by extreme athletes participating in long-distance events where they need to take on fuel during the event.
Isotonic sports drinks are best suited for footballers and you’ll know most of the common brand names that associate themselves with the sport (e.g, Lucozade Sport).
So, how can you make your own isotonic sports drink?
How to Make Your Own Sports Drink
This is so much easier than you think – all you need are the 3 elements (water, electrolytes and carbs) in the right combination.
- Take 200ml of orange squash (concentrated orange juice) – glucose/carbs
- Mix with 1 litre of water – fluids
- Add a pinch of salt (about 1g) – electrolytes
- Mix all of the ingredients together and chill in a refrigerator.
Give it a try and it will save you a fortune over time.
Want to know how to give yourself an even greater boost after a game? Enter your name and email address below and I will send you my recipe for a high protein/carb chocolate milkshake absolutely free. Not only will it hydrate you properly after a match, but it will give you a protein boost to aid in recovery.