With all the sugar and unpronounceable chemicals added to mainstream sports drinks these days, very few of them can actually be considered healthy. However, there are some out there that won’t hold you back from attaining your fitness goals. From just making sure you’re hydrated, to providing extra carbs and helping you recover, these are the sports drinks elite athletes are actually drinking. Oh, and like anything worthwhile, you’ll have to mix them yourself.
Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator
If you’re worried about those aforementioned chemicals, Vega Sport’s sugar-free powder is completely vegan. Mixed into water, the Electrolyte Hydrator provides minerals such as potassium, zinc and magnesium that help replace those you sweat out. A load of Vitamin C adds a punch of antioxidant protection, too. In our experience, the flavours happen to taste great. Bonus.
Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration mix
Taking a back-to-basics approach, Skratch Labs makes their hydrator using real fruit, spices and natural ingredients. The result is a drink that not only replenishes lost electrolytes, it won’t upset your stomach during a workout unlike some chemical-laden drinks. Real cane sugar adds just enough calories to keep you moving, but the drink’s sugar content is still half of what you might expect from mainstream hydrators. If you need an extra boost, the matcha flavour has a small amount of caffeine.
BioSteel High Performance Sports Drink
Andrew Wiggins just signed on with BioSteel, and apparently with good reason. The company’s vegan, gluten-free and diabetic-friendly sports drink is an electrolyte hydrator with an extra kick of Vitamin B, which helps increase your energy alongside a dose of Taurine. Red beet powder, a natural performance booster that increases endurance, is also in the mix. BioSteel doesn’t play around with ingredients it doesn’t need, so sugar content is zilch.
We’re leery of caffeinated anything when it comes to working out, especially since many brands tend to overdo it. However, Nuun Energy’s quick-dissolving tablets hit the right notes with a small, but effective, energy boost to the tune of 40mg of caffeine, which translates to roughly a third of a cup of coffee. Add in a basic hydration mix and plenty of B Vitamins, and it’s a great drink during a hard workout or for preventing a crash afterwards.
Clif Shot Electrolyte Hydration Drink
This sports drink takes a fueling approach by providing the key elements you need to support longer workouts. A packet of Clif Shot mix combines all five important electrolytes in a four per cent carbohydrate solution that provides energy from multiple sources. This ensures that your body absorbs and uses every last bit for a longer-lasting boost. It does not incorporate any extra vitamins, nor does it list animal products—it’s vegan and certified kosher.