Summer is almost here and staying hydrated is extremely important. Most Americans are chronically dehydrated, top that with high temps and your body will be begging for mercy. Before you go reaching for a sports drink, you should consider what you are letting into your body.
Food coloring: All those pretty colors, while attractive, are incredibly bad for us. Artificial food coloring have been linked to: kidney, bladder and brain tumors, hyperactivity, allergies, and are known carcinogens.
Brominated Vegetable Oil: This flame retardant was recently committed to being removed from Gatorade thanks to one teenage girls petition. While banned in the UK for many years, it has a long history in America. BVO builds up in our tissue and is carcinogenic. They use it to keep the color and flavoring mixed evenly in drinks. Known effects of consuming BVO regularly are skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders.
Added refined sugars: Sugar has been linked to inflammation, weight gain, addiction, blood sugar instability and so much more. A 32 ounce Gatorade contains 56 grams of refined sugars.
Modified Food Starch: This is another name for gluten. Not everyone avoids gluten obviously, but for those of us who need to. This is really good to know.
A healthier choice is natures natural “gatorade,” coconut water. Not only is it just 46 calories per 8 ounces, it’s rich in electrolytes including 600 milligrams of potassium and 252 milligrams of sodium. It’s also a source of B vitamins and minerals calcium, magnesium and zinc. Gatorade only has 120 milligrams of potassium per 32 ounces and 200 calories.
Raw is always best but challenging to get when it is at its peak flavor, which is 9 months on the tree. When you are buying it from the store, always check the label. Watch for added sugar, preservatives, coloring and “natural” flavoring.
Now…the texture of coconut water really isn’t my thing. To me it has the texture of saliva. Not appealing. In the summer I usually use it in place of water in my green smoothies. This weekend I decided to try it in lemonade. YUM! I thought it was delicious and everyone else loved it too. It’s nice to have a cook-out favorite cleaned up, healthier and helping to keep everyone hydrated in the summer heat.
Hydrating and Healthy Homemade Lemonade
- 2 cups pure coconut water
- 2 cups pure lemon juice
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 4 cups filtered water
- In a pitcher, add in all the liquid first, then the honey and mix well until honey is dissolved. Store in the fridge until ready to drink.