In the heat of summer, it’s easy to work up a sweat with outdoor fun or a vigorous yoga practice. But if you lose more liquid than you replace, you can get dehydrated. Telltale signs include a dry or sticky mouth or urine that’s darker than usual. Dehydration can also cause uncomfortable symptoms like dizziness, muscle cramps, nausea or heart palpitations, which if untreated can become dangerous.
While plain water is usually all you need, it’s sometimes wise to spike your drink, especially in the heat. Sports drinks serve the dual role of recharging you with carbohydrates and replacing the electrolytes (salts and minerals such as sodium and potassium) you sweat out during prolonged, strenuous exercise. You probably don’t need to worry about missing electrolytes after a light workout, but if you are planning an all-day walk in the sun or a hot yoga practice, you might want to consider an electrolyte-enriched sports drink.
Dr Carrie Demers, director of the Himalayan Institute Total Health Center, swears by a simple homemade sports drink that includes salt, which is made up of the electrolytes sodium and chloride. “It’s more hydrating than plain water because your body will hang on to it,” she says.
“It’ll stay in your tissues.” In addition to helping you retain water, salt stimulates thirst, so you’re likely to drink more. Her recipe also calls for honey, a source of energy-boosting carbohydrates and sweetness, which makes it a delight to get your daily dose of H2O.
Homemade Sports Drink
½ tsp honey
1 cup (250ml) hot water
Juice from a quarter of a lemon
Pinch of salt
Combine ingredients, stir and chill the drink in the refrigerator to enjoy later. Drink during or after exercise.