When I played youth softball, one of the highlights (other than actually hitting the ball) was the snacks the parents brought the players. Usually an orange or a granola bar for substance and a gatorade to rehydrate. I was particular of the red one so please keep that lemon-lime away from me. It tasted better than plain water and felt sweating-colored-sweat cool (you remember those commercials?).
However, according to Cleveland Clinic, sports drinks are unnecessarily packed with sugar and calories a child needs. Children which are school-aged require about 1,600 to 2,200 calories per day says Kids Health From Nemours. When you figure that a bottle of Powerade has around 200 calories and 50 grams of sugar. That’s an entire two day’s worth of sugar according to The American Heart Association’s scientific statement.
So, what should we give kids from now on to rehydrate? Here’s our list of healthy alternatives.
There’s nothing healthier than drinking water before, during and after exercise. To make this a part of a healthy living lifestyle, think of purchasing a reuse-able water bottle to keep with you 24/7. Better for rehydrating than regular sports drinks, water is the perfect (and super heathy) way to rehydrate.
If water seems too boring, you can always flavor it with something like lemon juice or a bit of cucumbers. Ahh, refreshing.
2. Coconut Water
Did you know that coconut water contains all five essential electrolytes your body needs? Rich in potassium, which helps alleviate soreness and cramping, coconut water is refreshing and contains no added sugars. Most coconut waters come in convenient bottles, making them a perfect after practice beverage.
3. Pickle Juice
Hear me out on this one. Pickle juice is rich with calcium chloride and vinegar which can help the body more easily absorb essential minerals like sodium and potassium which were lost through sweating and strenuous activity.
Research from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise also shows that participants that drank pickle juice stopped muscle cramping 37 percent faster than drinking water and 45 percent faster than drinking no liquids at all.
4. Chocolate Milk
This is one drink that your kids will love. According to The University of Texas at Austin, low-fat chocolate milk has been shown to built more muscle and shave off fat if consumed after a workout.
When choosing a chocolate milk, look for a low-fat variety without artificial ingredients.
5. Homemade Sports Drink
If you are on the hunt for a healthy sports drink, we suggest making your own drink recipe to fit your needs. This Homemade Electrolyte Sports Drink from Mommypotamus checks off all the boxes with ingredients like water, orange juice, lemon juice, sea salt and raw honey. You can even add in a few mineral drops if wanted.