You walk in the door from a grueling workout, and grab a bottle of Gatorade to rehydrate. But what’s really in that bottle? It’s not just electrolytes and vitamins. Store-bought energy drinks are full of toxic ingredients, from high-fructose corn syrup and sucralose (Splenda) to artificial food colorings and preservatives.
There’s no reason to let store-bought energy drinks wreak havoc on your body and wallet, when you can get the same (if not better) benefits from an affordable, natural energy drink that you can make at home in as little as five minutes.
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Our recipe combines coconut water, sea salt, citrus, and raw honey to rehydrate you and replace the sodium lost in sweat, without the cost and toxicity of its store-bought counterpart.
Dangers of Gatorade and other energy drinks
Although Gatorade seems to be beneficial for athletes in small amounts, drinking too much Gatorade, or treating it like any other beverage, can be costly. A 32 oz. bottle of Gatorade has 200 calories, and if those calories are not burned off in a workout they will be stored as fat and may eventually lead to weight gain.
Gatorade and other sports drinks are also enriched with vitamins, which sounds beneficial, but can be toxic if consumed in large quantities. Fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamin A, cannot be excreted from the body if consumed in excess amounts. Because Gatorade is enriched with vitamin A, drinking too much of it can lead to hypervitaminosis.
We do however recommend Isagenix e+, a natural energy shot which comes from Yerba Mate, and includes a range of adaptagenic ingredients, and botanicals to enhance stamina and performance. Isagenix Replenish is another product worth taking a closer look at, again it’s all natural and designed to re-hydrate and energize.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the sympyoms of hypervitaminosis include “blurred vision, vomiting, bone pain and swelling, and fatigue.”
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Out of Gatorade’s long list of ingredients, four are particularly alarming:
- Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) is a toxic additive used to prevent ingredients from separating in soft drinks and sports drinks, and although banned in Europe and Japan, it is used liberally in many products around the world.
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup has invaded the world’s food system, sweetening everything from drinks to bread, and is thought to be a major contributor to the current obesity epidemic.
- Artificial Colors are legal even though they are known toxins. For instance, Yellow #5 is linked to hyperactivity, anxiety, migraines and cancer, but is still an ingredient in Gatorade Lemon-Lime.
- Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin is a wood-derived alcohol solution.
Benefits of Natural Energy Drinks
According to Gatorade’s website, the combination of these ingredients serves four purposes: Rapid fluid absorption, rapid rehydration, providing carbohydrate energy to working muscles, and encouraging athletes to drink beyond “mouth thirst.”
The good news is that these benefits can be achieved with natural energy drinks! Homemade energy drinks (using coconut water, sea salt, citrus, and raw honey) pack in all the benefits without the dangers of vitamin toxicity, weight gain, refined sugar, and artificial food coloring.
In recent years, coconut water has come to be known as “nature’s sports drink” for its dense electrolyte content. Although it may not be enough on its own to energize you after an intense workout, you can add a few simple ingredients to make your own healthy energy drink:
- Coconut water packs in fifteen times more potassium than Gatorade or other sports drinks
- Sea salt replenishes the sodium lost in sweat
- Lemon juice contains ascorbic acid and vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium to balance your PH levels
- Lime Juice enhances liver function and enzyme levels to flush toxins
- Raw Honey maintains blood sugar, contains antioxidants, aids in muscle recovery, and provides a refreshing, natural sweetness
How to Make a Homemade Energy Drink
Natural Coconut Water & Lemon Energy Drink
- 2 cups coconut water
- 2 limes juiced
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- Combine the coconut water, lime juice, lemon juice, sea salt, and raw honey in a blender. Blend until honey dissolves.
- Drink immediately, or store in an airtight jar in the fridge for one to two days.
Pediatricians Warn Against Energy And Sports Drinks For Kids, NPR
Effects of Too Much Gatorade, Livestrong.com
Top 11 Scary Food Additives, ABC News