A big part of exercise hydration is replenishing the electrolytes you lose through sweat. A good sports drink should contain not only water but also some sodium and other important minerals. Natural performance enhancers like coffee and tea can come in handy too. Read on to learn how to make those kinds of drinks at home.

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Avoid cramps with proper hydration

There are many reasons for muscle cramps to occur during exercise but two are related to hydration – dehydration and low levels of electrolytes calcium, potassium, sodium or magnesium. The good news is you can easily eliminate them by having a hypotonic sports drink that carries electrolytes, most importantly sodium. This is how you make it at home.

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. Here are two really tasty flavors, an ideal choice for efficient 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.

Recipe: Blackberry Mint Iced Tea

This second recipe shows you how to add a natural stimulant into your sports drink. Contrary to popular belief, the diuretic effects of coffee and tea are too weak to decrease hydration, so they can be a valuable addition to your hydration strategy. Also, theine, the slow releasing stimulant in tea, is similar to caffeine and can give you a performance boost before or during your ride. The following recipe yields 8 tasty drinks full of theine.

Ingredients

8 cups water
½ cup coconut sugar (or any sweetener of your choice)
¾ cup blackberries
4 green tea bags
¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves

Directions

1. Combine 1 cup of water, sweetener, and blackberries in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, lower to a simmer and cook until the blackberries have broken down, about 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Strain blackberry mixture through a fine sieve or cloth into a bowl. If using a sieve, press with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Set aside and let cool.
3. Place tea bags and mint leaves in a large bowl and set aside.
4. Bring remaining 7 cups of water to a boil and pour over tea bags and mint and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
5. When tea is done steeping, using a slotted spoon, remove tea bags and mint and discard.
6. Add blackberry syrup and give a good stir (adjust sweetness according to your taste)
7. Place in the refrigerator until chilled.
8. When ready to serve, pour into ice filled glasses garnished with a couple of blackberries and mint leaves.

Next up in Hydration series

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