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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 05-09-07, 04:15 PM   #1
Jolt
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Homemade all-natural sports drink recipe

I have used a homemade sports drink recipe (that I found online) that's supposed to be pretty similar in composition to Gatorade and uses regular sugar and a Kool-Aid packet, and it was pretty good, but I'm not a huge fan of the artificial flavors/colors and the large amount of refined sugar because it just doesn't seem that healthy. Here's what I came up with yesterday by making some substitutions:

4 tea bags (I used green tea, but will probably experiment with other types including herbal as well)
6 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoon Morton Lite Salt (or can use 1/2 tsp regular salt and 1/2 tsp Morton Lite to get the same level of Na and about 1/3 the level of K)
2 tbsp lemon juice if desired

Steep the tea bags in 16 oz. hot water for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and add honey and Morton Lite Salt, along with lemon juice if using; stir until everything dissolves. Add water to bring the total amount of liquid to 2 liters.

An 8-oz serving of the original recipe (the Kool-Aid one) has 14.2g carbohydrate, 53 calories, 103 mg sodium and 121 mg potassium (or 104 mg Na and 40 mg K if using half regular salt). My recipe has the same amount of carbs/calories, should have the same amount of sodium (I don't think the tea or honey really has any) and somewhat more potassium due to the tea and the honey (maybe for this one I should do the variation using half regular and half lite salt). The lemon juice definitely improves the taste; I originally did not use it but then added some after the initial taste test. I drank this today while riding all over town doing errands (did probably 12 miles total) as it was a hot day and I find that it's easier to drink more if it's not just plain water. No upset stomach or other issues; then again, maybe it just wasn't a long enough ride for anything like that to happen. Do you guys think the fact that this has some caffeine in it is a problem? Not a lot, as it's green tea and not full strength, but using some sort of herbal tea would eliminate it. What homemade recipes do other people use?
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Old 05-11-07, 12:53 PM   #2
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Nice recipe, i'm not patient enough to make tea...

In one bottle, I use
3tsp brown sugar or dried cane juice
1/2 tspMorton Lite salt
lemon or lime juice

I've found the potassium is really the life-saver: I had no idea that you need as much potassium as sodium, and I sweat a LOT.

cheers
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Old 05-11-07, 01:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by acroy
Nice recipe, i'm not patient enough to make tea...

In one bottle, I use
3tsp brown sugar or dried cane juice
1/2 tspMorton Lite salt
lemon or lime juice

I've found the potassium is really the life-saver: I had no idea that you need as much potassium as sodium, and I sweat a LOT.

cheers
That sounds like a good one to try too--sort of a variation on lemonade (or limeade). I just made another batch of the above recipe last night using Red Zinger herbal tea instead of green tea and will probably try it on my run later.
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Old 05-11-07, 09:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolt
I have used a homemade sports drink recipe (that I found online) that's supposed to be pretty similar in composition to Gatorade and uses regular sugar and a Kool-Aid packet, and it was pretty good, but I'm not a huge fan of the artificial flavors/colors and the large amount of refined sugar because it just doesn't seem that healthy. Here's what I came up with yesterday by making some substitutions:

4 tea bags (I used green tea, but will probably experiment with other types including herbal as well)
6 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoon Morton Lite Salt (or can use 1/2 tsp regular salt and 1/2 tsp Morton Lite to get the same level of Na and about 1/3 the level of K)
2 tbsp lemon juice if desired

Steep the tea bags in 16 oz. hot water for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and add honey and Morton Lite Salt, along with lemon juice if using; stir until everything dissolves. Add water to bring the total amount of liquid to 2 liters.

An 8-oz serving of the original recipe (the Kool-Aid one) has 14.2g carbohydrate, 53 calories, 103 mg sodium and 121 mg potassium (or 104 mg Na and 40 mg K if using half regular salt). My recipe has the same amount of carbs/calories, should have the same amount of sodium (I don't think the tea or honey really has any) and somewhat more potassium due to the tea and the honey (maybe for this one I should do the variation using half regular and half lite salt). The lemon juice definitely improves the taste; I originally did not use it but then added some after the initial taste test. I drank this today while riding all over town doing errands (did probably 12 miles total) as it was a hot day and I find that it's easier to drink more if it's not just plain water. No upset stomach or other issues; then again, maybe it just wasn't a long enough ride for anything like that to happen. Do you guys think the fact that this has some caffeine in it is a problem? Not a lot, as it's green tea and not full strength, but using some sort of herbal tea would eliminate it. What homemade recipes do other people use?
I wouldn't worry about the refined sugar - that's what you need when you are exercising. The advantage of using different sugars is primarily that you can tune the sweetness so that it's something you want to drink a lot of while you're riding. The sweetness of substances is graded against sucrose, which is rated at 100.

The sugar in honey is roughly 50/50 fructose and glucose. Fructose is very sweet (that's why HFCS is a cheap sweetener) - the values I saw quoted were anywhere from 130 to 170. Glucose is around 75, so the mix in honey is going to be anywhere from as sweet as sucrose to 20-30% sweeter.

My guess is that's likely to be sweet enough that you won't want to drink a lot - the lemon juice will help, but it might be interesting to add in a sweetener that's less sweet. Maltodextrin is a common choice, as is trehalose. Another interesting would be plain old corn syrup (Karo syrup), which is also not-very-sweet.

Another possible issue is that fructose in large quantities can cause GI upset.

The caffeine probably isn't that much of an issue.
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Old 05-12-07, 06:58 AM   #5
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In a French bike mag, they had a do-it-yourself drink including a heap of stuff (e.g. Brewer's yeast). But one thing I've taken and tried from their concoction is baby cereal. I take something like your basic recipe above, and mix in a couple of desert spoons of baby cereal (mixed with a bit of hot water first so it dissolves).

Seems to work well for me.

B
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Old 05-12-07, 12:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericgu
I wouldn't worry about the refined sugar - that's what you need when you are exercising. The advantage of using different sugars is primarily that you can tune the sweetness so that it's something you want to drink a lot of while you're riding. The sweetness of substances is graded against sucrose, which is rated at 100.

The sugar in honey is roughly 50/50 fructose and glucose. Fructose is very sweet (that's why HFCS is a cheap sweetener) - the values I saw quoted were anywhere from 130 to 170. Glucose is around 75, so the mix in honey is going to be anywhere from as sweet as sucrose to 20-30% sweeter.

My guess is that's likely to be sweet enough that you won't want to drink a lot - the lemon juice will help, but it might be interesting to add in a sweetener that's less sweet. Maltodextrin is a common choice, as is trehalose. Another interesting would be plain old corn syrup (Karo syrup), which is also not-very-sweet.

Another possible issue is that fructose in large quantities can cause GI upset.

The caffeine probably isn't that much of an issue.
Those are some interesting thoughts. I suppose the white sugar probably isn't that big of a deal--I have more of a concern with all the chemicals in the Kool-Aid mix, and using the tea (or even just lemon or lime juice) avoids that. As for being too sweet, it isn't bad actually, especially after adding the lemon juice--that seems to tone down the honey. Maybe I'll try a batch with regular sugar and compare.
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Old 05-12-07, 02:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jolt
. . . Do you guys think the fact that this has some caffeine in it is a problem? Not a lot, as it's green tea and not full strength, but using some sort of herbal tea would eliminate it.
You can "Home-decaffeinate" the green tea by brewing all your bags in a cup or so boiling water and then time it and pour off that water in 30 seconds. This will remove quite a bit of the caffeine. I do this with jasmine tea during the summertime; I like jasmine tea for Iced Tea, but I don't like staying up all night if I get caffiene.
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