DIY Sports Drinks

Make your own energy drinks for a healthier and more affordable option

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Girl drinking water after a run
What's in your post-workout drink?

After a sweaty workout session, you’ve got many options for rehydration. The multi-billion-dollar sports drinks industry is certainly booming. But if you want to avoid super-sugary drinks with mystery additives, you can make your own recovery drinks right at home.

The secret ingredient is electrolytes: minerals like potassium and sodium. Simply add a pinch of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon or lime to your water to get all the replenishment you need.

Another sports drink option is to splash some lime juice in your coconut water, which contains more potassium (helping to regulate fluids and balance minerals at the cellular level) than a sports drink. Or take that coconut water and lime and blend it with some fresh watermelon, which can help reduce muscle soreness.

If you want to take a nod from America’s culinary past, try making switchel, a centuries-old (and now trendy) recovery drink which tastes like a milder kombucha.

Bookworms might know switchel from its cameo in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books. Farmers in the 17th century needed a good recovery drink from working the harvest, and they would drink this tart elixir by the hay load.

You can concoct this sweet-and-sour mixture on your own by combining water, apple cider vinegar, a natural sweetener and ginger. Commercial versions like Up Mountain Switchel or Vermont Switchel are also available.

Homemade Switchel

  • Serves: 16 servings
  • Prep Time:
  • PRINT Print This Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts water
  • ½ cup dark molasses
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ounces fresh ginger juice

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher or other container and whisk to combine.
  2. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to drink.