(NaturalNews) In a rather sad and ironic state of affairs, individuals exercising to improve health and fitness often fall into the trap of neon colored sport drinks and sugary protein bars with questionable ingredients -- believing these products support ultimate vitality and strength. Unfortunately, these 'foods' compromise true health and also tend to rack up a hefty grocery bill. But making your own at home is far easier than you might imagine and affordable to boot.
Common pitfalls of sport and energy food products
Most sport enhancement foods contain odd ingredients that insidiously destroy health. High fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, fractionated palm kernel oil, genetically modified organisms and, unbelievably, flame retardant in the form of brominated vegetable oil are frequently found in sport recovery/endurance products. The problem is, these foods are convenient -- just grab and go. So often we sacrifice health (and taste) for a quick boost. Yet there is a painless resolution to this dilemma: Make your own and save your cash, health and tastebuds.
The Chicago Tribune article, "Sports drinks: How to make your own," offers several simple, inexpensive recipes for recovery drinks. According to registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, refueling beverages need three elements: water, electrolytes and carbohydrates. Just make sure to use purified water, organic ingredients and high quality Himalayan or Celtic sea salt for maximum nutritional benefit.
Electrolyte Replacement Drink from Yoga Journal
4 cups hot water 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 tsp honey 1/4 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients and chill before consuming.
Organic Sports Drink from Kitchen Table Medicine
Organic fruit juice
Water or green tea
Organic sea salt
Fill sports bottle with half juice and half water. Add a pinch of sea salt and shake.
Thrive Sports Drink (Raw)
Juice of 1/2 lemon Juice of 1/4 lime 3 dates 2 cups water 1 Tbsp agave nectar 1 tsp coconut oil Sea salt to taste
Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
In addition, unsweetened coconut water with a pinch of sea salt is a basic, electrolyte-rich recovery drink.
Delicious and nutrient dense energy bars
Now onto the protein bars. Here we can really get creative. Anna Sward of Protein Pow(d)er offers the following recommendations and recipes:
"For each recipe below, bind the powder, flour and other ingredients with milk [coconut, almond or hemp varieties are heathy choices]. You can also use a nut butter. The goal is to have a batter that comes together like a dough which can be easily formed into bars. Next, melt 90-100 percent dark chocolate over low heat -- enough to coat the bars, about 40 grams. Once coated, place the bars in the freezer for at least 30 minutes."
Again, organic ingredients are recommended.
Goji Berry and Citrus Protein Bars
1 cup organic unflavored protein power 1 1/2 cups ground nuts of choice 1/2 cup coconut flour 1 1/2 cup goji berries 1/2 cup nondairy milk substitute 2 tbsp orange extract
Surprise Almond and Vanilla Protein Bars
4 small cooked beets 1 cup vanilla protein powder 1/2 cup coconut flour 1/2 cup cup nondairy milk substitute 2 tbsp organic almond butter (peanut, pumpkin or hemp butter works as well)
Using the recipes above as a foundation, it's easy to play and experiment, modify and adapt handmade protein bars and sport drinks to fit specific tastes and needs. We are also liberated from expensive and bizarre products. In the end, it's an economical, nutritious and tasty win-win solution.
About the author: Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.