Sports Nutrition & Recovery

A few years ago, a movie was released called Idiocracy. I must admit that while I was watching it I alternately loved and hated it. It satire of Swiftian nature and not for the faint-of -heart. I know many people who loved the movie and watched it as a straight comedy. A statement you will appreciate if you have seen the film. The language is harsh, as the f-bomb is used and used and used until it is meaningless (which in and of itself is very meaningful in the context of the film). The characters are frustrating, but not entirely unlikable.

It takes place in 2505 America, and I won’t go into great detail or spoil anything about the plot, but suffice it to say that most of the citizenry wouldn’t be able to read this blog. The main character, Joe, played by Luke Wilson, discovers that the lack of crops/dustbowl situation that has arisen is the result of watering the crops with “Brawndo” (it’s got electrolytes). “Brawndo,” a sports-drink, is all anyone drinks – water is only in toilets. Brawndo even comes out of what we would call water fountains. If nothing else put me off of sports drinks, this did.DSC_6590

Later, as I was working on the Food Politics unit and doing research for my book, I found that the popularity of these sports drinks coincided with our obesity epidemic. People were drinking them instead of water, not as post-workout drinks, but just to drink, like iced-tea or soda. They have ingredients lists that include things like BVO (bromated vegetable oil), HFCS (High fructose corn syrup), and artificial colors and artificial flavors. What serious athlete wants to fuel her body with chemicals?

Sports Nutrition

That led me to researching sports nutrition. Do you know what I found out? Water isn’t enough for your body to recover. I originally thought that all of this sports recovery drink stuff was just more consumerism hype. But I found that many trainers recommend chocolate milk as a post workout recovery drink! It has the correct protein to carbohydrate ratio to help an athlete’s body recover. Check out the recipe for chocolate syrup and add two tablespoons to 16 oz. of milk and stir to dissolve. BAM!

However, when I come in from a long walk in the summer, I am not in the mood for chocolate milk. I want something more watery, like a sports-drink. When my husband is outside working all day, I want to fill his jug with more than water, but milk is going to turn into yogurt. When my daughter has a soccer game, she needs something that is not going to make her gag if she chugs it on the sideline. Chocolate milk is not going to stay nicely through the day for my son to drink after cross country practice. So we make our own recovery drink:

2 lemons, juiced

2 limes, juiced

1 ½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt

¼ Cup unrefined sugar or raw honey

Combine the ingredients in a ½ gallon jar and mix until the sweetener is dissolved. Fill the jar the rest of the way with filtered water. Shake to mix and refrigerate.

This supply lasts our active family about a week. We don’t drink it like iced-tea: only after strenuous work.