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Sports Drink - Make Your Own

It's a case of cross-polination. While researching sports-nutrition materials for another website, I ran across this recipe for making your own sports drink. The recipe comes from a reputable source (WebMD.com) and has been reviewed by several registered nutritionists and doctors, so I pass it along with high confidence that it not only won't poison you, Dear Socrates, but that it will actually perform nearly as well as the corporate formulation peddled by Gatorade (a Pepsi Cola product) and Powerade (a product of Coca Cola).

To a quart of water, add:
  •  1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  •  1/2  teaspoon of salt (or 1/4 teaspoon of potassium-based Salt Lite)
  •   3 to 4 tablespoons of sugar
The directions with this recipe warn that this mixture is for folks over 12 and  that you should stick closely to the quantities listed. Deviations of a grain or two can make the drink less effective or cause minor side effects like paralysis or instant death.

Some of this is CYA at work. Leaving the sugar out of the concoction, for example, is not going to harm you if don't want a sugared drink but 1) do want to replace the electrolytes you're sweating away and 2) do want your body to absorb more of the water you're drinking. 

Sticking to the baking soda and salt quantities listed, however, is probably a good idea. Also, if you leave the sugars out you'll want to keep muscles fueled during a long outing by eating the energy foods (mainly carbohydrates) that your companions have so thoughtfully brought along.

After testing several quarts of this recipe, I'm going to advise that you to leave in the sugar -- maybe even add a little lemon juice or a touch of non-sweetened Kool Aid powder. That's because the non-sweetend concoction is  an acquired taste that's just east of hideous. Sweetend it's not half bad -- in the way that Gatorade isn't half bad.

What's totally good about this homebrewed sports drink is the cost--like a nickle a quart. Here's one other benefit that's totally great: No wasted resources or landfill space on yet another galling plastic bottle.