No, I'm not on an extended vacation cycling through vineyards and staying at villas in Italy (though that's on my bucket list), nor am I picking and preserving heaps of berries (this winter I am so going to regret missing this year's short season, counting on getting the blueberries) - my house and routine has been "summerly" askew with: my son and family's extended visit, my valiant attempts to keep head and hand in Real Food Matters studying an In Balance weight loss and wellness program, dabbling in my garden, etc. etc. It's mostly all good -the reality is there ARE things about this stuff of living you can't say is ALL GOOD - and one of those presently for me is finding time and head-space to write.
However - I'm here now so get to it!
From my office window I can see the new hummingbird feeder I recently attached to an adjacent window. (This post is not about whether or not you should provide food for these hummers, or any other wild life, for that matter...it's my choice to do so. And considering they need 8X their body weight of nectar/day I am happy to give them some help.) The sound of whirring wings moves my attention beyond the keyboard to view the very active feeding station. (One of the etc. on my above busy-life-list is keeping up a supply of my water/dissolved sugar solution - no red food colouring!). I know they also eat elsewhere, because there are times the container runs dry, but somehow they know when it's full again (no, they can't smell - they are directed only by their eyesight. Amazing.)
A hummingbirds' wings beat 3000X/minute - it's no surprise they need to drink so much - and though I have no idea how to extrapolate their exertion to our exercise/physical activity (especially on a hot summer's day), I do know we need to stay hydrated and replace the electrolytes lost through sweating.
Commercially prepared sports drinks are mainly comprised of two ingredients: sugar and electrolytes (usually sodium and potassium). These help muscle contraction remain fluid, and reduce cramping. The downside, though, is that they are packed with artificial colours and flavours, and corn-based high fructose syrup or solids are the most common source of carbohydrate. There are natural ingredient sports drinks available, which are usually pricey - including one powder I tried that tasted so bad all I could think was "horse pee" - so my recommendation is to try some of these simple alternatives, given to me by an RHN colleague, Paulette Millis
and others picked up from "here and there."
- pure coconut water
- mix half coconut milk (or coconut water) and Bolthouse Carrot Juice
- blend half water and half unsweetened fruit juice - add a pinch of organic sea salt (minerals of the sea are very similar to our own electrolyte composition in our blood - so a better option than table salt)
- chicken and vegetable broth (think winter post-workouts)
- green tea, with optional additions - honey, sea salt
- blend hydrating foods, e.g. watermelon, cucumbers, honeydew, cantaloupe and other water-packed fruits and vegetables - with water and sea salt
- For post-workout, blend this chocolate almond smoothie
). Make ahead, chilled in fridge. Fresh is best - keeps up to 3 days.
- 1 banana
- 2 fresh or soaked dried dates
- 1/4 cup raw almonds
- 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
- 1 Tbsp. hemp protein
- 1 Tbsp. raw cacao nibs
- 1/8. tsp sea salt (my addition)
Electrolyte Replacement Drink
1 quart water
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup honey
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 crushed calcium tablets (available from health food store)
Mix together and store in refrigerator. I recommend diluting it at least half and half with water.
Drink is good foor during/after exercise, also for replacing electrolytes during fever with vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Do you have any sports drink favourites? I would like to hear how any of these options work for you.