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!
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
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.
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
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.