There are various different isotonic drinks on the market today such as Gatorade, Powerade and Lucozade. They are all very well promoted with top athletes and sporting events, but what is actually in them and what are they for? I have seen many people walking around town drinking these as a normal everyday drink and not using them for what they are designed for. Isotonic drinks are designed to replace various nutrients which we lose via sweat when doing vigorous exercise, not as a flavoured drink for daily usage.
What are isotonic drinks?
When we exercise, we sweat - that's a simple fact. Our sweat contains several ingredients, sodium being the main followed by chloride and potassium. If you've ever licked your lips after a hard workout, you'll have tasted the saltiness of your sweat and that's the sodium, which stays on your skin after the water is evaporated and can feel powdery to touch. An isotonic drink contains a rather large amount of sodium compared to a regular drink such as orange squash or water, which is why you should avoid drinking isotonic drinks if your not actually doing physical activity. So how do you make your own isotonic drinks at home? Here's what you need to do:
- Half fill your preferred 1Ltr sports drink container with freshly squeezed orange juice,
- Top up with water,
- Add a large pinch of salt,
- Give it a good shake!
There you have it, your very own isotonic drink. This is for a litre, so change the amount of salt accordingly if your drinks bottle is smaller or larger. I would recommend tasting the drink after gradually adding the salt, the first time I made one I added way too much salt! If you have your own variant of this mixture, please comment below so others can try it - including me!