A Healthier Sports Drink

It is a well known fact that a large portion of the human body is made up of water.  In fact, it is estimated that water comprises nearly 50-75% of the average person, with a large portion being stored in the muscles and bones.  Water is essential for all bodily functions, including proper muscle function, digestion, blood flow, and waste removal.  One simple test to ensure that you are well hydrated is to analyze the color of your urine.  If the urine is a dark yellow, you are typically dehydrated, while clear urine indicates that you are getting enough liquids throughout your day.

A common reason that someone becomes dehydrated is that they typically wait too long to drink water, relying on the feeling of “being thirsty” rather than periodically drinking water throughout the day.  More often than not, people confuse the sensation of being thirsty with being hungry, overeating when they should actually be drinking more water; this hinders digestion as more food needs to be broken down with inadequate water to support the process.

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When talking about dehydration, it is important to note that it only takes a loss of 2-3% of the body’s water supply to activate the thirst response.  Perhaps, even more surprising is the fact that it takes a water loss of just 1 % to impair both mental performance and physical coordination.  This, along with other serious health risks (such as heat stroke) is why it is essential to stay hydrated during athletic competition.  One of the best ways to do so is by making your own all natural sports drink (see recipe below) that provides the benefits of the big name products, but without all the added preservatives and artificial ingredients.

Homemade Cherry Sports Drink

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  • 5 T. Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate
  • 2 T. Lemon Juice
  • 2  1/2 T. Raw Honey (local honey may boost immunity against common allergens)
  • 3  1/3 c. Cold Water
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan Sea Salt (provides important electrolytes/minerals)

 In a quart size bottle, combine first four ingredients.  Add salt and shake to thoroughly combine.  Chill and serve.

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A Healthy Holiday Addition.

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash w/ Cranberries & Feta

Looking for a healthy alternative to those “candied yams” covered in brown sugar and marshmallows?  Try this healthier, yet delicious, alternative.  The following dish is loaded with good-for-you foods, including garlic (a strong anti-inflammatory that has been shown very effective in combating arthritis related pain) Cranberries (contain polyphenols, which may play a role in cardiovascular and immune system health), and Cinnamon (has been shown to safely reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels.  It is also suggested that smelling cinnamon can boost your IQ level).

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Ingredients:

1 Large Butternut Squash, peeled & chopped

Olive Oil

Salt, Pepper, & Garlic Powder

2 C. Fresh Cranberries

2-3 T. Honey

1/4 C. Crumbled Feta

Ground Cinnamon, to taste

Fresh or Dried Parsley (optional garnish)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400.

  2. Lightly drizzle olive oil over baking sheet.

  3. Add cubed squash to baking sheetand drizzle with additional oil.

  4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to desired preference.

  5. Roast squash for 25 minutes, remove from oven, and add cranberries to baking dish.

  6. Return to oven for 10 – 15 minutes, until cranberries have started to soften/burst.

  7. Remove from oven and lightly sprinkle cinnamon over dish, along with honey, and feta.

  8. Garnish with parsley and ENJOY!!!