After an intense and long workout, you reach for your water bottle and drink as if you were walking through the Saharian desert. You need to rehydrate your body, but water alone won’t do the job. It would be enough if you exercise for 30–40 minutes, but if you work out for longer than an hour, water will not cut it.
So what do you do? Adding sports drinks after a workout will help your body replenish your body’s nutrients. They are a necessity, especially if you are an athlete. We lose water through sweat after an intense workout, so we get depleted of carbohydrates and electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. We need these elements in our bodies to maintain blood and fluid volume. And if the levels of these electrolytes are low, then we lose energy and suffer from muscle pain or cramps. Since water can’t really replace them, some people choose to rely on sports drinks instead.
The story behind sports drinks
Sports drinks have changed a great deal since the 1960s. Since that time, they are still used today by not only sports players, but a variety of different people.
Glucozade aka Lucozade, might be the earliest ancestor of a sports drink as it was launched in 1927. A chemist called William Owen founded this citrus-flavored sugar water as a way of delivering quick energy and fluids to those who were sick with common illnesses. However, it didn’t launch its own brand of products until the 1980s.
On the other hand, Robert Cade made a beverage for football players to help them not flake out in the summer heat in the 1960s. That drink ended up being the most recognizable brand in sports. Dr. Robert Cade, a physician, basically created a drink similar to that of William Owen, a concoction of sugar, salt, and lemon juice mixed in water. These are the bottom-line ingredients a sports drink has to contain to address your body’s needs while working out or doing intense exercise.
While it’s marketed as a sports drink, athletes aren’t the only ones using Gatorade. Children drink it after soccer practice and adults as a hangover cure.
Are sports drinks good for you?
There are researchers that support the idea of sports drinks being a necessity, but there are also some researchers that do not support that idea. According to a Berkley study, sugar in sports drinks may be contributing to child obesity since the vast majority of people who drink Gatorade aren’t athletes. And we are all well aware of what too much sugar can do to you.
In a few words, these drinks are good only for people who are very active and sporty. Sports drinks aren’t recommended for people who are not active enough. The extra calories that your body doesn’t need could contribute to weight gain. Sports drinks use a lot of artificial ingredients, such as artificial sugar and food dye. So, your safest bet might be making them on your own. And it is not at all complicated.
You only need 4 ingredients to make your own sports drink.
The good thing about this is that you can adjust the taste based on your liking and needs. To create a good and healthy sports drink at your home, you have to use water from a reverse osmosis system ( only clean and fresh water in this house ), 4 tablespoons of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and simply slice a lemon in the middle and place it in the bottle. And bon appetite.
Water is essential and always a great choice, no matter what you do. But if you are an athlete or like to go the extra mile on those workouts, sports drinks after a long workout might be a better option for you to replenish lost nutrients. However, you should opt to making them on your own, to avoid artificial ingredients, that might do your body more harm than good.