What comes to mind when you think about Sports Drinks? What comes to my mind are those blindfully-bright electrolyte quenchers with "yellow 6," "caramel color," "modified food starch," and other mystery ingredients. There's even talk of a top brand using brominated vegetable oil (BVO), which is patented as a flame retardant.
What if I told you there are other electrolyte drink options for you and your kids, and it contains real food ingredients?
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium and other minerals needed for proper body function. When we exercise and sweat we lose water and these minerals, which must be replenished. Water alone doesn't cut it, and can lead to muscle cramps and fatigue.
The Star of this Electrolyte Show
It contains two minerals that help balance fluids in the body: potassium and sodium. When compared to Gatorade, coconut water wins with 13x more potassium and a little over twice the sodium (great after a good sweat)! Coconut water is so close to natural blood plasma that during WWII, soldiers were given direct infusions of it when blood supplies were low.
For reference, one serving of coconut water has about as much potassium as a banana, with significantly less sugar. Sodium is often linked to high blood pressure, but considerable amounts are lost through sweat. It's important to replenish lost sodium for proper nerve conduction.
Fresh-Squeezed Tangerine Electrolyte Cooler
3 cups coconut water - raw, unpasteurized is best
1 cup or more filtered water (based on preferred flavor concentration)
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed tangerine juice (about 6 tangerines) - orange, grapefruit, lemon, or lime are also delish
1/4 tsp salt (sea salt is ideal)
2 Tbsp raw honey
Juice your tangerines, mix the fresh ingredients together and serve or refrigerate. Lasts 4-5 days.