Quench your post workout recovery thirst with home-brewed electrolyte replacement drinks

Put a cap on expensive, pre-packaged fluid-replacement potions this race season. Instead, stock your pantry with a few common ingredients and brew a variety of tasty and inexpensive post-workout beverages.

Home-brews are simple, convenient and important to your post-workout recovery because they replenish the electrolytes lost during exercise. An athlete may sweat one-half to five pounds per hour during exercise, which could translate to 80-100mg of potassium and 400-700mg of sodium lost per pound. Sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, phosphate and sulfate – electrolytes – allow the body to contract muscles, generate electricity, maintain cell wall stability, and move water and fluids within the body.

The base for most home-brew recipes includes water, sugar, baking soda and organic sea salt. Organic sea salt is similar to the electrolyte composition in our blood and contains potassium, iodine, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc and others. If you’d prefer, you can use a salt substitute. Add sass to your sip with green tea, fresh juices or citrus zest.

In addition to the following recipes, consider pure, organic coconut water as a post-workout recovery drink. Coconut water contains electrolytes, has lower acidity than juice and most sports drinks, and has more potassium than a banana. Just be sure to read the label carefully – don’t purchase a product with added sugars (usually in the form of sucrose).

Have a recipe for a penny-pincher home-brew? Post it on the Elite Athletic Development / CrossFit Arlington Heights Facebook Page, or comment on this article.

Penny-Pincher Recovery Brews

Lemon-Orange Sports Drink
1 caffeine-free lemon tea bag
16 ounces water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons orange juice
Bring 16 ounces of water to a boil & steep lemon tea bag; add sugar and salt. Cool; add orange juice and chill.

Juice-Green Tea Sports Drink
Pure Organic Fruit Juice (no added sugar, high fructose corn syrup or corn sugar)
Water or Green Tea
Organic Sea Salt
Fill a sports bottle with half juice and half water. Add a pinch of organic sea salt; shake.

The Biggest Loser Brew / Bob Harper’s Recipe
1 liter water
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons Agave Nectar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Combine all ingredients; shake to dissolve.

World Health Organization Rehydration Solution
1 /2 teaspoon table salt
1 / 2 teaspoon salt substitute
1 /2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons table sugar
1 quart + 2 tablespoons water
Place all ingredients in the pitcher or water bottle; mix thoroughly and chill. Option: add a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit.

Posted in Coach's Column.