Hydration status has a big impact on your performance. It’s important to drink enough because if you don’t, there will be consequences. You will risk insufficient body temperature control, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and mental weakness. The best way to hydrate during exercise is with specialized electrolyte drinks. In this article, you’ll learn how to make your own at home.

Maintain body fluids for optimal performance

The goal of drinking during exercise is to prevent excessive dehydration and excessive changes in electrolyte balance. Dehydration can be detrimental if you lose as little as 2 % of your body’s water content. In a long endurance race, it’s not uncommon for athletes to lose up to 6-10 % of their water weight via sweat. This will lead to decreased performance due to fatigue and the mental weakness that goes hand in hand with dehydration will make matters even worse.
Optimal hydration has been shown to prevent all this from happening, and may even reduce the oxidative stress that occurs during high-intensity exercise. The problem is that with sweat you’re losing valuable electrolytes and have to replenish those too. Especially sodium should be included in fluids consumed during exercise lasting for more than 2 hours.

Recipe: Homemade Electrolyte Drink

These electrolyte drinks contain a medium amount of carbohydrates which helps fluid uptake and a little bit of salt and coconut, which makes them a good source of sodium and potassium, the most important electrolytes. And they are really tasty too, an ideal choice for hydration!

Ingredients

Tropical Blend

• 2 ½ cups water
• 1 cup coconut water
• ¼ cup coconut sugar (or your preferred sweetener)
• ¼ tsp salt

Taste of Honey

• 3 ½ cups water
• ¼ cup pineapple juice
• 2 tbsp coconut sugar (or your preferred sweetener)
• 1 tbsp honey
• ¼ tsp salt

Directions

1. Pour all ingredients into a blender or a shaker.
2. Mix well and serve into a glass or straight to your bidon.

This article is a part of series: Eat to Ride