At a time when the cost of sports participation is rising and many families struggle to meet the increasing demands, some of the leading youth soccer clubs in the region have embraced a new way to raise funds for equipment, club and tournament fees, and scholarships to ensure the beautiful game is accessible to all. By partnering with Golazo, the local, All Natural beverage company, clubs like Crossfire, FC Alliance, Seattle United, and Eastside FC have sold the company’s All Natural Sports Hydration drinks to friends, family, and teammates and raised over $25,000 this year, reinforcing healthier choices and an active lifestyle, but most importantly, supporting local communities and their enthusiasm for soccer.
“Historically we have done everything from car washes to selling coffee to help raise funds for our club” says Tom Campbell, President of FC Alliance. “Our partnership with Golazo is a great fit, soccer-centric and comes with a shared passion for healthier products. In 12 weeks, we raised more money than we did in an entire year with similar programs.”
Providing a healthier twist on a familiar fundraising model, Golazo gives clubs an opportunity to sell its All Natural Sports Hydration drinks, with participating organizations keeping all profits from the program. The award-winning products are made with the best non-GMO ingredients, like coconut water, have 50% less sodium than the leading brands, and were formulated with functionality designed for the pitch.
“As a soccer mom I am constantly looking for good choices to help my son have fun and play the best he can. It’s been a challenge to find healthier alternatives and a brand we can rally around.” Says Alexia Mabrouk, Crossfire soccer mom, “Golazo has stepped forward with their products but most importantly their support to make the game accessible and affordable. That makes a big difference to families like ours.”
This program expands on Golazo’s other initiatives to support the region’s soccer community, including a marquee partnership with the Washington Youth Soccer Association, official drink status of the Seattle Reign and Portland Thorns, and supporting the local chapter of Street Soccer USA that uses the power of soccer to help homeless men and women dramatically transform their lives.
Based on the success of this pilot program, Golazo is thrilled to increase its capacity to support youth soccer throughout the region and is now offering clubs in Western Washington and Portland, OR the opportunity to participate “In just over two weeks we were able to raise $4,500 to make improvements to our home field clubhouse that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise,” asserted Chris Martin,Portland City United administrator.
“We started the company in the hope that we could provide a platform for human potential, and instill a belief that everyone is born to score.” Says Richard Tait, Golazo CEO and Center Mid. “Through this program, our All Natural products, and partnering with fantastic local organizations, we hope to make that dream come true for as many young soccer players as we can.”
Want more information about how your club can participate in the Golazo fundraiser? Fill out the form below and our Fundraising Coordinator will get you everything you need!
You can go online anytime and find easy-to-follow instructions on making your own sports drink, so why go out and buy it?
Frankly, it is easier to buy what you need than faffing over blending, mixing, pulping, mashing, stirring or shaking something into a drinkable concoction.
Or is it?
Go to Google, type in ‘Healthiest Sports Drinks’, and the top search results will yield links to a mixture of sites about either protein shakes, sports drinks vs. water, the sports drinks you ought to drink and alternatives to sports drinks. So, no consensus then whether store bought sports drinks are the clear public favourite over other options. And in a deeper search for the healthiest sports drinks out there, innumerable sites appear advocating the benefits of drinking water or making your own nutrition drink over buying a product of, essentially, water, sugar and, sometimes, added salt. Can’t you get these at home?
To demonstrate how accessible making your own sports drink can be, here is a list of 6 easy recipes you can follow. And a bonus is they can all be made in advance and stored easily for later and continued use:
Orange & Maple
This one is courtesy of American sports nutritionist Barbara Lewin, RD, LD.
To 3 ½ cups of water mix ¼ cup organic orange juice, ¼ cup maple syrup and ¼ teaspoon salt. Simply! And all with a meagre 50 calories per 8 ounce serving.
Natural Sports Drink
An unoriginal title, yes. But, a drink that can be made in many ways to suit many tastes. This 4-cup recipe is courtesy of Wellness Mama, and takes all of 10 minutes from start to finish.
Brew 1 quart of tea (green or herbal teas). Alternatively, warm 1 quart of coconut or plain water. To this add ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon calcium magnesium powder (a cheap, long-lasting investment from Amazon at just under £13 for an 8 ounce tub), minimum ¼ juice (your choice of flavour) and 1-2 tablespoons of sweetener (such as honey or stevia). Mix or shake well, and cool and store in the fridge until later use. This lasts for upwards of 4 days.
A big thanks to One Green Planet for this one!
Take one sports bottle and into it pour coconut water and a ½ teaspoon scoop of spirulina powder (available at all good health food retailers, or on Amazon for as little as £5.95 for a 150 gram pack). Shake well and off you go!
Cherry, Lemon and Orange
This one comes from nutrition site SkinnyMs., an offering for those who require a lot more flavour than the standard range of homemade sports drinks typically yield. It’s guaranteed to replace the electrolytes lost during a workout and rehydrate the body. An especially good workout for home is the turbo trainer.
Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add ¼ cup honey and ½ teaspoon sea salt, stirring until dissolved. To ½ gallon pitcher add ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, ½ cup dark cherry juice (no sugar added) and ½ cup fresh orange juice. Add to this juice mixture the water, honey and salt mixture, stir, then refrigerate.
Natural Hydration Fruit Drink
Ideal for the younger crowd as well as the older, this is one of the easiest re-hydration drinks you can make.
In your blender blitz 3 cups coconut water, 1 cup apple juice, 1 cup ice, 1/8 teaspoon sea salt and 1 tablespoon honey. A squeeze of lime and/or orange is optional, but certainly recommended. This will then keep for 1 week refrigerated.
Lemon-Lime Lay Low Energy Drink
This is an ideal, full-flavour alternative to Gatorade.
Another job for the blender, combine ¼ cup fresh lime juice, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 1 ½ – 2 cups water (depending on how strong you want the flavour, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of honey, then blitz until the honey is dissolved. This can be enjoyed with or without ice.
There is scope to create innumerable variations of electrolyte replenishing and re-hydrating sports drinks. This may involve sourcing ingredients you may not readily find in your local shop, but not always; so much of what is required to make an alternative to your typical store-bought sports drink is as easy to get as a pint of milk or loaf of bread. And if it was necessary to go further afield for the essentials, a one-off nip to a health foods store or online retailer will be the extent of any inconvenience experienced.
The assumption that buying a sports drink is always the better option to making one doesn’t hold. Granted, there’s no doubt it’s easier shelling out cash if cash is there, as opposed to taking the time to create a similar product. Then again, that time spent is not inordinate, and after it’s come and gone you then have something with strong health properties, not to mention knowledge of what’s in it.
There are a lot of sports nutrition drinks brands out there competing for our attention, and our wallets. It is an ordeal trying to decide which one is best, or at least what is worth buying and what is not. Add to this the bombardment of anything and everything a Google search throws up from brand advertisements to all the stuff on comparison sites, and it is as if you are in a minefield with no clear way out.
What is the best sports nutrition drink, and how can you tell? Clearing the minefield is a challenge, however you look at it. So when navigating your way through consider at least 3 basic things to consider: what you are looking for, what is in it and who makes it.
We had some of the biggest names in UK Football looking at the best drinks on the market, namely Henry, Maradona and Eusebio.
Arguably, the biggest thing to consider is what it is you need from a sports drink. Are you very athletic, do you exercise just moderately or are you more interested in supplementing your nutrition generally? Are you replacing your coffee and chocolate intake with a healthier option? Are you curious with the products coming onto the market and interested in giving them a try, perhaps as a daily supplement? Or, maybe you prefer the flavour and feel-good factor of sports drinks you have tried and are looking for your ideal. Whatever the case, knowing what you would like helps narrow down the field of options, making shopping heaps easier.
There are three types of sports nutrition drinks on the market: isotonic, hypotonic and hypertonic. Isotonic drinks are designed to quickly replace the fluids lost by sweating as well as add a carbohydrate boost – i.e., much needed energy. Examples of an isotonic sports drink are Lucozade Sport, Boots Isotonic and HighFive. Hypotonic drinks also replace lost fluids quickly, but without the carb energy boost. Examples of these include Gatorade G2 and Powerade Zero. In fact, generally any water-down or ‘light’ sports drink will fit into this category. Hypertonic drinks are great for supplementing daily carbohydrate intake. It can also be used in conjunction with isotonic drinks to top up fluids lost during exercise. Lucozade Energy is one example.
Most sports drinks on the market are isotonic.
If you are into fitness any of these will work, albeit in their own ways. Isotonic drinks are ideal for the avid gym-goer and athlete, providing the hydration and energy needed to maintain high performance and an optimal work out.
If you are into sports but require less of an energy boost – e.g., gymnastics, yoga and pilates – hypotonic drinks are the tonic for you.
If you are primarily after a supplement, either as a product of a physical workout or an added boost to your daily diet, hypertonic fluids are probably what you want.
And if the feel-good factor is key to your decision making, all products on the market have aspects worth thinking about. Isotonic and hypertonic drinks have a higher glucose content, adding to their flavour and boost in carbohydrates. Hypertonic drinks also have added salts, the idea being that by providing the body with a higher level of sugars and salts than it normally contains it can function at an equally higher level of energy. On the other hand, hypotonic drinks, in offering a no hassle way of replenishing fluids, offers a level of overall level of hydration the body craves, if without the better taste offered by its alternatives.
Looking now to what is in them, sports nutrition drinks are generally straightforward combinations of water, sweeteners, preservatives, carbohydrates and electrolytes (minerals such as chloride, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium). This differs from other supplemental nutrition drinks, like smoothies and protein shakes, which can be based on ingredients such as yogurt, whey and milk to an assortment of fresh fruits, flavours from concentrate, oats, seaweed, vegetables… Basically, near anything. In short, your ideal sports drink will differ little from others on the market for its ingredients, and if you are looking for variety apart from a simple variation of flavour perhaps a supplemental nutrition drink is more up your alley.
Still, another key thing setting sports drinks apart from each is who makes them. Whether it is Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water or Boots’ own brand each product claims to offer something its competitors do not. Unpicking this is a challenge, but not an impossible one.
First of all, what is available where you are, or what can you get a hold of easily. Whether in a shop, online or at the gym how accessible a product is will go a long way to lending itself well to what is best for you.
Another consideration is cost. A number of major brands – including some already mentioned like Gatorade, Vitamin Water, Lucozade and Powerade – have wide distribution and availability in all major retailers in the UK, online, on the high street and in the gym. And all of these major brands have offerings for each type of sports drink. They compete with each other for look, taste and recognisability, and are just as competitively priced. At the upper end of the price spectrum are import brands such as XCEED, Bolero and Gold, all of which are widely available online and specialty retail outlets.
Then, there is professional and popular opinion. In a recent Mail Online article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3806/The-best-sports-drinks.html), dietician Jeanette Crosland of the Sports Nutrition Foundation gave her verdict in the best sports nutrition drinks products on the market. In no particular order, the list included Liquid Power, Boots Isotonic, HighFive Energy Source, Gatorade, Lucozade Sport and Isostar. US consumer rating site The Top Tens (http://www.thetoptens.com/best-sports-drinks) had a top ten, in descending order, of Propel, Lucozade, Staminade, Accelerade, All Sport, Mizone, SoBe Life Water, Vitamin Water, Powerade and, coming in at No. 1, Gatorade. Both surveys used unique criteria and came from two distinct populations – and there are hundreds more surveys out there looking at what the professionals and the general public think – but Gatorade and Lucozade are noticeable brands that straddle the divide. Are they then the best out there? That is for you to decide, of course, both juries have decided on a brand that is easy to get a hold of, competitively priced and offers a range of products for a range of people.
Ultimately, you can boil down the choice of the best sports drink for you to three simple tips: know why you need (or want) it, take into account what is in it and think about who makes it. Make a decision on these and you are bound to cut through the information overload to get what works for you.
There are a lot of sports nutrition drinks brands out there competing for our attention, and our wallets. It is an ordeal trying to decide which one is lends itself best to our health, or at least what is worth buying and what is not. Add to this the bombardment of anything and everything a Google search throws up from brand advertisements to all the stuff on comparison sites, and it is as if you are in a minefield with no clear way out.
What is the healthiest sports drink out there, and how can you tell? Considering the nature of the product this can be a strange question to ask, but as we live in a world where chemicals and processes make up more and more of the things we eat and drink it is a question worth asking nonetheless. There are three types of sports nutrition drinks on the market: isotonic, hypotonic and hypertonic. Isotonic drinks are designed to quickly replace the fluids lost by sweating as well as add a carbohydrate boost – i.e., much needed energy. Examples of an isotonic sports drink are Lucozade Sport, Boots Isotonic and HighFive. Hypotonic drinks also replace lost fluids quickly, but without the carb energy boost. Examples of these include Gatorade G2 and Powerade Zero. In fact, generally any water-down or ‘light’ sports drink will fit into this category. Hypertonic drinks are great for supplementing daily carbohydrate intake. It can also be used in conjunction with isotonic drinks to top up fluids lost during exercise. Lucozade Energy is one example.
Most sports drinks on the market are isotonic.
Sports nutrition drinks are generally straightforward combinations of water (often carbonated), glucose syrup, citric acid, lactic acid, assorted flavourings, preservatives (such as potassium sorbate and sodium bisulphate), caffeine, ascorbic acid and colourings. Electrolytes (minerals such as chloride, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium) are key components. The variations in these ingredients give us isotonic, hypotonic and hydronic types.
There is some debate about whether sports drinks actually contribute to overall health. The Health Cloud (https://www.thehealthcloud.co.uk/ingredients-in-sports-drinks) looked at the ingredients in sports drinks and concluded that, although they “can help with prolonged exercise…they are not needed for the majority of sports. These drinks also contain a number of preservatives and other artificial chemicals in small quantities, and although they do not pose a significant health risk, they do not contribute to health in any way, and ideally would not be consumed at all.” A blog from Inside Tracker (https://www.insidetracker.com/blog/post/22217548736/sports-drinks-helpful-or-harmful#) gives an alternate opinion, stating “the sugar in sports drinks can be beneficial for people who are exercising more intensely or working out for longer periods of time. It can provide ready-to-use fuel for someone who is jogging for three hours or mountain biking.” It goes on to say that “if you are performing an intense level of exercise for over an hour, you may need to replace the carbohydrates that you burn during exercise and electrolytes that you lose through sweating. For intense exercise sessions, drink about 20 ounces of a sports drink for every hour that you exercise, starting after the first hour.”
Professional opinion is certainly varied.
For the converted, there are a number of recent surveys done on the best sports drinks on the market. Survey criteria are diverse from study to study, with all claiming to advocate their own healthiest options for consumers. In a recent Mail Online article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3806/The-best-sports-drinks.html), dietician Jeanette Crosland of the Sports Nutrition Foundation gave her verdict in the best sports nutrition drinks products on the market. In no particular order, the list included Liquid Power, Boots Isotonic, HighFive Energy Source, Gatorade, Lucozade Sport and Isostar. US consumer rating site The Top Tens (http://www.thetoptens.com/best-sports-drinks) had a top ten, in descending order, of Propel, Lucozade, Staminade, Accelerade, All Sport, Mizone, SoBe Life Water, Vitamin Water, Powerade and, coming in at No. 1, Gatorade.
And, certainly, an important aspect of the healthiness of sports drinks is whether the one you have is the one you need. If you are into fitness any drink type is sufficient, albeit in its own way. Isotonic drinks are ideal for the avid gym-goer and athlete, providing the hydration and energy needed to maintain high performance and an optimal work out. If you are into sports but require less of an energy boost – e.g., gymnastics, joga and pilates – hypotonic drinks are the tonic for you. If you are primarily after a supplement, either as a product of a physical workout or an added boost to your daily diet, hypertonic fluids are probably what you want. Giving the body what it needs to perform best in situations of physical strain and endurance is key to maintaining good health during exercise or sport, and the appropriate sports nutrition drink can be of real benefit here.
And then, there is one type of sports drink money can buy, but you can nonetheless for absolutely nothing: water. When it comes to hydration – unless exercise is especially rigorous and sustained – there is no clear evidence suggesting any sports nutrition drinks work more quickly or completely as water. But this also has no necessary bearing on the replenishment of sugars in the body.
So the verdict is an open one, and the debate rages on. All in all, the healthiest sports nutrition drink money can buy is the one appropriate to your level of exercise or sport. If you work out only modestly, for instance, an isotonic drink or simple water is going to be best. Then again, you could always follow what trends and opt for Gatorade, Lucozade, Propel or any of the other brands advanced by the diet experts. Whatever your decision, it is worth keeping in mind that anything more than what is required for you and your exercise routine is likely not going to add to your physical health, while also remembering that neither will it necessarily harm it.