When it comes time to rehydrate during and after exercise, rehydrate naturally and effectively!
When you engage in exercise and work up a sweat, your body loses electrolytes via perspiration. Electrolytes are substances that are capable of conducting an electric current when dissolved in solution.[i] Electrolytes (salts) in the human body include bicarbonate, calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium[ii]; they have very important roles in the body. Electrolytes regulate the permeability of cell membranes (the ability of cell membranes to allow liquids or gases to pass through them), help buffer against changes in pH, and help balance osmotic pressure in the body (the pressure substances in the body exert on cell membranes).[iii]
Maintaining a state of homeostasis (overall balance) in the body is vital. Balanced electrolytes in the body contribute to such homeostasis.
Via perspiration, we lose water from the body, and electrolytes inevitably follow this water, exiting the body![iv] Therefore, we need to replenish electrolytes lost.
Commercial sports drinks are typically loaded with refined sugar, refined sodium and even high-fructose corn syrup, among a host of other, undesirable ingredients that aren’t providing any benefit to the body. Rather, the ingredients send our internal environment into a tailspin, leaving us craving more and doing more harm than good!
Rather, keep your money in your pocket for more valuable investments, and make a quick-and-easy (and highly economical!) homemade electrolyte beverage instead! Your body and mind will thank you, as you naturally and far more effectively replenish and rebalance electrolyte levels in your body.
About the Strategic Ingredients:
Coconut water is rich in electrolytes; the particular brand pictured above is a rich source of sodium and potassium, complimented with some calcium, magnesium and phosphorus
Pineapple contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme and anti-inflammatory agent in the body
Citrus contains calcium and potassium; when combined with sodium, these electrolytes work to achieve a balanced pH and fluid levels in the body[v]
*Recipe courtesy of Alive Magazine:
Yield: ~2 servings
2 ½ cups unsweetened, plain coconut water
1 ½ cups pure pineapple juice
2 tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a large jug/jar/bottle and stir to combine (or combine into a blender and briefly pulse, to thoroughly mix).
Divide amongst two water bottles.
*As I had a whole pineapple at home, I peeled it and sectioned off about 1/4-1/3 of it for one serving of this recipe - will depend on the size of the pineapple you are using! I chopped it into large chunks and placed it into my high-speed blender. From there, I blended it until smooth, then strained the juice from the pulp and foam generated using my mesh nut/seed milk bag (you could also use a fine-mesh sieve). Alternatively, you could certainly add the entire blender mixture to the juice!
[i]-[iv] Marieb, Elaine N. (2015). Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology, 11th edition. U.S.A.: Pearson, Education, Inc.