Alternatives to Sports Drinks

Most peo­ple don’t need a “sports drink” at all when they exer­cise.  There’s noth­ing bet­ter than water at replac­ing the flu­id you’ve lost from work­ing up a good sweat.

Unless, that is, you’re a marathon­er or a triath­lete, or you work out hard for more than half an hour at a time.  Then you may have to con­cern your­self with the min­er­als you’re los­ing in exer­cise.  And dur­ing an extend­ed work­out, your body might need an extra sup­ply of read­i­ly-avail­able ener­gy in the form of car­bo­hy­drates.

Then a sports drink could be use­ful.

One of the super-fit ath­letes in my prac­tice want­ed to steer clear of all the arti­fi­cial-sound­ing ingre­di­ents in wide­ly-avail­able com­mer­cial sports drinks.  So she asked me -

What are the alternatives to sports drinks?

One viable alter­na­tive is dilut­ed fruit juice.  Orange juice is a good choice.  Use one part OJ to two parts water.  The orange juice has sug­ars and min­er­als in it that will replace much of what your body’s lost.  And the two-to-one dilu­tion fac­tor makes sure you’re get­ting plen­ty of flu­id replace­ment with­out a neg­a­tive post-sug­ar crash.

Anoth­er choice that many health-con­scious ath­letes are mak­ing is coconut water.

(It’s not coconut milk – coconut milk is extract­ed from mature coconut flesh.  Coconut water is the liq­uid inside the imma­ture fruit.)

Coconut Water Benefits

Coconut water has 15 times the potas­si­um of a banana, along with the mag­ne­sium and sodi­um need­ed to replace the min­er­als lost through exer­cise.

It’s low in calo­ries and refresh­ing.

Give it a try.  And then let me know how you do in your next endurance race.


Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

What to Drink After You Exer­cise to Rebuild Mus­cle

Hydra­tion tips from Karen Flick­er



About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty five years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods. His website,, provides more information about his approach. Please contact him at or at 212-400-9663.
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