DIY Watermelon Sport Drink

As I've discussed before (here), hydration is key for health and sport performance. We need to replace the fluid and electrolytes we lose in our sweat. 
And, I don't know about you, but Gatorade just doesn't cut it for me sometimes. When I can, I prefer to nourish my body with the freshest ingredients possible. So, I spent some time recipe testing (with my trusty blender and calculator!) to get the flavour and nutrient profile of this DIY Sport Drink just right...
Makes ~1L.
 

THE TOOLS:

  • blender
  • knife
  • measuring cup
  • tablespoon
  • teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon

THE COMPONENTS:

  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 2 cups diced frozen watermelon 
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (~juice of 2 lemons)
  • 4 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (sodium chloride)
 
 From left to right: sea salt, raw lemon, and maple syrup

From left to right: sea salt, raw lemon, and maple syrup

 

THE HOW TO: 

Blend all ingredients. That's it. Drink immediately (as slush) or store in fridge to drink during/after your next work-out. 

Optional: leave out the sea salt (or add less of it) if you're not going to sweat very much. See below for more details. 

 

THE DIETITIAN REVIEW:

Hydration is important before sport, during sport (lasting longer than ~30min), and after sport to replace any excess sweat losses that remain.  

Plain water works great a lot of the time, but once you hit about the hour mark of intense activity, you're going to need some carbohydrates (sugar) to help fuel your muscles. Then once you hit about the 2 hour mark of intense activity, or for activities in high heat, you'll also need a source of electrolytes (especially sodium). 

Research has shown that a sport drink with between 6-8% carbohydrate (or 60-80g/L) is most effective and is well tolerated by the gut (i.e. no GI upset!!).

This recipe has 60g/L available carbohydrate. 

The sodium content of sweat ranges from ~920-1840mg/L. It is also important to note that sodium stimulates sugar and water absorption in the intestine, and improves fluid retention (i.e. decreases urine losses to restore fluid balance). 

Aiming to consume a sport drink that has adequate sodium to replace your sweat losses and to efficiently restore fluid balance can sometimes be hard on the taste buds. But, I think the citrus of the lemon in this recipe cuts the salty taste.

This recipe has ~1250mg/L sodium.

Like I mentioned above, if your activity is less than 2 hours, or is of lower intensity with limited sweat losses, you likely won't need the added sodium. 

This recipe also contains: 

1260mg/L potassium, 70mg/L magnesium, & 87mg/L calcium

 

Cheers! -K