Electrolytes in Sports Drinks
Which Drink Serves Up More?

By Adam Kantrowitz
Electrolytes in Sports Drinks

Sports drinks have become popular as many now recognize the benefits of replacing electrolytes.

The question is: What’s in popular sports drinks? Are store bought electrolyte drinks really the best option for rehydrating on the job, during a workout, or while engaging in sports?

The 4 Primary Electrolytes Your Body Needs

The main electrolytes that one should want a sports drink to replenish are magnesium, chloride, potassium, and sodium.

What are the benefits of each of these electrolytes?

  • Magnesium – This is a vital part of how other electrolytes function in the body, making it a key ingredient for replenishing.

    A magnesium deficiency results in the body losing potassium via urine instead of using it to nourish cells. There are many additional health benefits of magnesium

  • Chloride – This important electrolyte works with sodium and potassium to keep electrolyte levels regulated. It helps with waste removal and is good for making an acidic body more alkaline.

  • Potassium – This electrolyte is vital for assisting muscles and in maintaining a proper blood pressure level. Potassium deficiency can lead to an abnormal heart beat. 

  • Sodium – While essential, most Americans get too much in their diet, mostly because of processed and fast foods, which are both generally quite high in sodium.

What Electrolytes Are in Your Sports Drink?

Does your sports drink contain all of these electrolytes in the needed amounts? Check this list to find your favorite:

  • Gatorade (GSeries 02 including Fit Perform) – 100 mg sodium; 30 mg potassium
  • Powerade – 50 mg sodium
  • Powerade ION4 – 50 mg sodium; 12.5 mg potassium
  • Propel Zero – 80mg sodium
  • Clif Shot – 250 mg sodium; 50 mg potassium; 4% RDA magnesium (about 17 mg.)

How to Make Your Own Superior Sports Drink

As you can see, the above drinks fall short of providing all of the vital electrolytes. On top of that, many are filled with sugar, preservatives and numerous artificial ingredients.

Here is a recipe to get more of the electrolytes that you need, without the junk.

What You Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of Ionic Sea Minerals 
  • 1/8 teaspoon of real salt (optional, for heavy physical exertion)
  • Fresh lemon juice and sweetener (to taste) or a lemonade mix
    (Crystal Light Pure works well. It sweetens with Stevia plus a small amount of sugar, with no artificial ingredients)
  • 1 liter of water 

Combining these ingredients to make 2 liters of sports drink will provide one with a beverage that contains the following per serving:

  • 422 mg magnesium (more than a full day’s worth)
  • Over 1,000mg of chloride
  • 116 mg potassium
  • 340 mg sodium

The optional 1/8 teaspoon of real salt (sea salt) provides the additional sodium needed when a person sweats heavily. The sea salt helps to beef up the 90 mg of sodium found in Ionic Sea Minerals if muscle cramps are a problem.

Not only does the Ionic Sea Minerals provide the major electrolytes, it also contains some wonderful trace mineral electrolytes

The Bottom Line on Electrolytes in Sports Drinks

Clearly, store bought sports drinks don’t provide anywhere near the same benefits as an electrolyte product that a person can easily make in their own home.

(Return from Electrolytes in Sports Drinks to What is an Electrolyte)

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