During long-lasting activities you will lose water and some important electrolytes — salts and minerals — through sweat, and burn a lot of calories. Therefore it is important to refuel during and after such activities.
The exact amounts lost depend on the type of the activity, its duration and intensity, and of course the weather plays a major role, too. For example, on average I lose one liter of water and burn 500 kcal during one hour of running — can’t measure the amount of salts and minerals lost.
Drinking sports drinks is probably the easiest way of refueling. You can find a ton of different brands offering their drinks. These are usually very similar to each other, made of water, fructose, glucose and other sugars, and electrolytes. These drinks are usually expensive and may contain some unhealthy stuff.
It is very easy to make your own sports drink and all you need are a few basic ingredients.
Homemade Sports Drink
- 1/2 liter water
- 1-2 tablespoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
All you have to do is to mix these things together!
This is a very basic sports drink that may not replace all the electrolytes lost during your activity. Despite this it is good enough for most activities — and it is very easy and cheap to make it.
The energy will come from the honey that also contains a small amount of minerals and vitamins. To increase the mineral content of the drink, use sea salt instead of kitchen salt, and mineral water instead of tap water.
I have used it quite often and it was very good for refueling during long runs or mountain bike rides.
Oh, and don’t forget to taste it after all the ingredients are mixed together! It is easy to add too much salt to it and than it will taste like seawater — simply horrible.