Tips from Jayne Benkendorf


Make your own sports drinks and avoid all the sugar and artificial ingredients!

Since it's the time of year for outdoor activities and the need for more liquids, let's look at the sports drinks that are available on our grocery shelves - we may decide to make our own!

Most sports drinks, including Gatorade, consist primarily of sugar-water and artificial colors. There are very small amounts of potassium and sodium (electrolytes) added to these sports drinks.

What most people want in sports drinks are the electrolytes lost when they perspire. Well, Gatorade has 110mg sodium and only 30mg potassium. Not much at all!

There is a much better choice. In fact there are two choices. We can make our own sports drinks by adding a bit of salt to fruit or veggie juices OR we can drink V8 Juice.

An 8oz glass (1 cup) of orange juice has 480mg of potassium and 25mg of sodium. By adding only 1/8 teaspoon salt, we add 290mg of extra sodium. Now, we have a wonderful sports drink with nutritious ingredients, no refined sugar or artificial colors!

How about V8 Juice? V8 is made from a variety of vegetables with no sugar or artificial colors. A 5.5oz can has 380mg of potassium and 430mg of sodium. What a simple, nutritious way to get electrolytes!

Let's look at juice choices and the milligrams of potassium in 8oz (1 cup):

Grape 335
Pineapple 335
Grapefruit 374
V8 380
Orange-Grapefruit  390
Orange 480
Tomato 535
Prune 705

These truly are healthful choices for potassium. Now for a 'true' sports drink, add 1/8 teaspoon salt to each of these juices - except V8. (V8 already contains plenty sodium.)

Remember that it's very important to drink plenty of water when participating in physical activities, particularly in hot weather. Drink. Drink. Drink water - even though you may not feel thirsty. Then occasionally have one of these good-for-you sports drinks. Now, enjoy your summer!

Jayne Benkendorf is author of The Food Storage Bible and 15 Minute Storage Meals. To learn more about products to use - and to store - that are free of harmful additives and preservatives, check out Jayne's book on our web page.