Friday, October 09, 2009

 

Stevia natural sweetener enhances the flavor of Hydration Fruit-Ade homemade sports drinks.

Stevia is the not so "secret sauce" that sweetens my natural sports drinks!!

When mixing up my recipe for Hydration Fruit-Ade homemade sports drink certain types of fruit juice taste very bland after dilution to the proper sugar concentration. In these cases I add a small amount of stevia natural sweetener to produce an excellent tasting, do it yourself natural sports drink. Many other fruit juices don't need any stevia added when making sports drinks.
Should you switch to stevia? 'Natural' sugar substitute joins list of sweeteners - NY Daily News21april2009.
"Stevia has been used for years in Japan as a sweetener, but it’s more costly than, say, saccharin ... it’s labeled 'natural' since it comes from a plant. Prepared from an extract of the stevia shrub, it can be concoted into a sweetener that is 300 times sweeter than table sugar and has been shown to be a safe supplement for human use, says Toby Smithson, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association."

Stevia - New Sugar Substitute Joins a Street Fight - NY Times 14april2009.
"The Food and Drug Administration agreed in December that rebaudioside A, an extract from the leaves of the stevia plant, is safe to add to food and drinks." "Because it comes from a plant, marketers can call it a natural sweetener."

FDA Clears Use of Stevia Herb As Sweetener - Wall Street Journal 18dec2008.
"The Food and Drug Administration has declared a natural zero-calorie sweetener derived from the herb stevia safe for use in foods and beverages"

Zero-Calorie Sweetener Stevia Arrives - US News and World Report 28july2008.
"There's a new sugar substitute on the market with a really sweet pitch: zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero chance of a spike in blood sugar levels. Several companies are just out with new products derived from the leaves of the Latin American herb stevia, which contain a substance hundreds of times more potent than sugar."

FDA Approves Stevia, Ends the Era of Oppression of this Herbal Sweetener - naturalnews.com 19dec2008.
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued letters of non-objection for the use of a natural, zero-calorie sweetener it once sought to wipe out from the U.S. marketplace. ... it will largely replace aspartame, an artificial sweetener chemical linked to numerous neurological disorders, including headaches, eye disorders and other problems. It will also unleash a wave of stevia-sweetened products for consumers, and that's good news for diabetics or anyone seeking healthier products sweetened with an herbal extract rather than a synthetic chemical."

Stevia is now available in the United States - MayoClinic.com.
"In late 2008 the Food and Drug Administration declared that the artificial sweetener stevia is "generally recognized as safe" — thus allowing it to be used as a no-calorie sweetener in foods and beverages. ... Stevia is an herb, and its extract can be hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. Stevia has virtually no calories and doesn't raise blood sugar levels. Stevia has been used as a sweetener in other parts of the world for several years. Side effects of stevia are generally mild, such as nausea and a feeling of fullness. Does this mean that stevia is safe? What we currently know is that it is probably safe in moderate doses."

Stevia Products & Books.



Stevia for sweetening and flavor enhancement of do it yourself sports drinks.

In addition to its intense sweetness, stevia also acts as a natural flavor enhancer. I use about 20 drops of stevia liquid concentrate in a 2-quart batch of Hydration Fruit-Ade natural sports drink whenever the diluted fruit juice needs a little flavor boost. This homemade sports drink is helping me to prevent dehydration and maintain muscle performance while kayaking by replenishing water, carbohydrate and salt. I also appreciate the lack of calories in stevia, so I use stevia for sweetening things that I drink at home when I am not exercising. For example, just a few drops of stevia liquid concentrate are needed to sweeten a cup of tea or homemade lemonade. Thus, a small bottle of the stevia liquid concentrate lasts a long time and sweetens many gallons of natural sports drinks. I have tested both SweetLeaf and Now Foods brands of stevia liquid concentrates and was equally happy with both of them. At the low levels needed for sweetening and flavor enhancement I did not detect any off-flavors or experience any side effects from stevia consumption in my drinks.

More about stevia, natural sports drinks and preventing dehydration:
Stevia could be supersweet crop for Central Valley - Sacramento Bee 08aug2010
Paddleboaters need good hydration for optimum paddling performance - BRT Insights 09sept2009.
Food & Drink for Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.
Stevia Story: all about the herb that's sweeter than sugar - stevia.net.
Healthier Sweetener and Stevia Resources - holisticmed.com.
Cooking With Stevia and Stevia Recipes - cookingwithstevia.com.
Stevia rebaudiana - Raintree Nutrition, Inc. Tropical Plant Database.
Stevia - The Natural Sweetener - HealthWorld Online.

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