When to reach for that "Gatorade"?
I know a lot of you are Mom's and you want the best for your active child. This is why I thought I would dive into when you should reach for the "Gatorade" electrolyte drink and when is water enough.
First off, all this applies to you too, Mama.
Second off, I say "Gatorade" because it is the most popular and highly commercialized electrolyte drink out there. It's not my statement against the company Gatorade or Pepsi-Cola.
Let's dive in!
Electrolyte drinks are all targeted towards active children, men and women. They target young and old athletes with the message, that performance can be improved with their drinks. That their drinks are necessary for all activity, and this is where I want to share my knowledge with you.
The MAIN QUESTION
When do you need an electrolyte drink?
- When your activity has lasted more than 60 mins, this is when reaching for the electrolyte drink is beneficial. Under 45-60 mins can counteract progress, the added sugars and excess empty calories, some may have, can put you back a step.
- When you are dehydrated due to sickness; diarrhea or vomiting. Having an electrolyte drink can help replenish the nutrients, fluid and minerals that you may have lost. Children and elderly are prescribed this and some how as adults, we forget about it. Keep hydrated while sick! Keep your minerals in check with an electrolyte drink.
What is the goal of your electrolyte
- Replace and replenish any minerals such as sodium and chloride lost
- Provide a source of glucose for the muscles, this will then delay fatigue. It will also keep your performance levels up while sweating throughout the long haul.
- Promote fluid retention
Why can't I just have a fruit juice instead? Because the carbohydrate ratio is a lot higher and the minerals are lower, in most cases. Answer- it won't have the same effect.
What to look for in an electrolyte drink?
- A good carbohydrate ratio of 6-8% (60g-80g of carbohydrates)
- Check the label and make sure it includes calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, chloride and sodium. These are the top minerals you sweat out and loose while exercising.
- Keep a close eye out on the sugar content, yes sugar is needed to provide energy but the amount and the source of sugar is where you need to watch.
Can you make one at home?
YES!!! For all those Mama's or active women out there that are able to prepare a batch of electrolyte drinks before your long run or your son's hockey tournament.
Here it is
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice.
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice.
- 2 cups of water (filtered or purified) or raw coconut water.
- 2 tbsp organic raw honey or organic maple syrup.
- 1/8 tsp Himalayan Pink salt or Celtic sea salt (I like Himalayan better - it has 84 trace minerals)
Either it's you training for a marathon or your son at hockey, make sure to pick the best electrolyte drink to replenish and refuel you. The post workout crash without one leads to muscle cramps, uncomfortable feelings, emotionally and physically.
My personal favourite is Ultima
Why do I like it so much?
Because it has no sugar added. It tastes really good. I can do sample packs at the Running Room before a buy a case of it. It's not as sweet as other electrolyte drinks commercially advertised and sold. I don't feel bloaty afterwards, which usually is due to the sugar and excess sodium pumped into the other.
Have a wonderful day,
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