Natural Sports Drink Recipe

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If you, or your kids enjoy any kind of sports or athletic events, there is certainly a time when water alone just doesn’t quite cut it.

Even water with lemon or lime gets boring after a while, and when you need to rehydrate, you often need added electrolytes.

Before you stop by the store for a Gatorade on the way to the game, try making your own natural version! It is easy, just as fast, and a lot healthier.

Regular Gatorade contains: Water, sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, citric acid, natural grape flavor with other natural flavors, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, red 40, Blue 1. (This is from a picture of the grape flavored Gatorade label).

I’m all for re-hydrating, but are the monopotassium phosphate, mystery “natural flavors” and artificial dyes really necessary?

Around here, for times when more than just water is needed for hydration (softball games, triathlons, labor, etc.), we make our own version, which I prefer… never much liked Gatorade or Powerade myself anyway.

The easiest sports drink that is nutritionally amazing (they even used this stuff for plasma infusions during the pacific war) is plain coconut water or coconut water with a TBSP of added lime juice. Coconut water has more potassium than sports drinks, and more natural sources of sodium. A lot of athletes swear by it these days, and I will be drinking it in labor.

The only downside to coconut water is the price. If you want an inexpensive (and still healthy and tasty) alternative, this versatile recipe is the next best thing…

Homemade Natural Energy and Sports Drink Recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews
Natural Sports Drink Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Homemade sports drink recipe without artificial flavors or ingredients.
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 1
  • 1 quart of liquid (options: green tea, herbal teas, coconut water, plain water, etc)
  • ⅛-1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt (regular table salt will work, but it doesn't have all the trace minerals)
  • ¼ to ½ tsp crushed Calcium magnesium tablets or powder (optional)
  • ¼ cup or more of juice (optional. Can use grape, apple, lemon, lime, pineapple, etc)
  • 1-2 TBSP sweetener (optional)- can use honey, stevia, etc. I suggest brewing stevia leaf into the base liquid for the most natural option.
  1. Brew tea if using or slightly warm base liquid
  2. Add sea salt and calcium magnesium (if using)
  3. Add juice and mix or shake well
  4. Cool and store in fridge until ready to use
[As an example, my normal recipe includes 1 quart of tea (brewed with Red Raspberry Leaf, Alfalfa, Nettle and Stevia), ¼ tsp sea salt, ¼ tsp calcium magnesium powder (about 1,000 mg), and ¼ cup grape or apple juice]

Another easy alternative is just mixing Vitamin C powder or Emergen-C with water and a little juice!

Ever drink sports drinks? What’s your favorite?

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Reader Comments

  1. Kim says

    I made this for my daughter today before soccer, I used coconut sap sugar and she said it wasn’t sweet enough so then added a tablespoon of agave(I know you don’t like agave) and that did the trick for her she really liked it.

  2. says

    I lived off coconut water when I was training for half marathons (but was not eating processed foods)  but that was a hefty price tag (I said in lieu of ‘Gu’ it was worth it)… but I had no idea about this cool recipe!  I can’t wait to try it.  And also very excited you give the stamp of approval to Emergen -C  …. ilove that stuff :)

  3. Medea Leones says

    as a medical professional and a herbalist involved in birth and emergency care for the last 2o years  we use a similar blend for teas.  you will find an increased calcium-magnesium with a trace minerals boost by adding a quality mint to your  tea blend- be sure to make an infusion to extract the minerals/vitamins. remember if you are using green tea- it is a diuretic, you will get the benefits of tea along with the increased fluid elimination… 

    • Austin says

      Do distilled hydrosols have the same properties as infusions? Could I distill an infusion to get a more pure product with a longer shelf-life, and use that in place of an infusion for nutritive purposes?

    • Jen Pagonis says

      Hello, I started taking all yesterday and today I had a headache. I Googled DIY falafel in order to avoid the sugar — and found your recipe. I’m driving it right now worth a base is jasmine and mint tea and passion fruit juice (no sugar added). So yummy! Anyhoo– I’m not supposed to consume much caffeine while taking Adderal. So I’m not sure if the green tea was a good idea. But then I saw the above comment about green tea being a diuretic. If my headaches are due to hydration (and drinking lots of water everyday doesn’t seem to do the trick) is a diuretic a bad idea?either should use herbal teas? Lastly if I take calcium and magen daily already…is it necessary in this “sports drink “?

  4. Shira says

    I’m thinking of using your recipe as a Gatorade substitute for a colonoscopy prep. Gatorade is so gross and artificial. If I use the EmerGenC, how many packets should I use and does this replace all or just some of the ingredients? If not all, which ones?

  5. says

    I use Xylitol powder which has 10% of the calories and glycemic load of sugar and it tastes exactly like sugar. It also has the added benefit of killing all the bad bacteria in your mouth and throat.

    • Sascha Stallworth says

      Xylitol can in fact be extremely bad for your body, even in small doses.
      It causes intestine problems for one, and is deadly to dogs.
      There is so many other natural options to sweeten your drink.

  6. Imran Yunis says

    What are your thoughts about making a Sole mix (water mixed with himalayan sea salt) first and then adding to this drink instead of putting the salt in directly?
    I’ve seen other receipes on line where the Sole approach is taken but I’m curious if its better to go that route or to just put the salt directly into the drink?

  7. Rose says

    I’m glad to find your site, and you are so informative. I’ve question about your mention red raspberry leaf, since I grow them in the garden, can I just pick the leafs from the plants and brew them with my tea from your recipe?
    Thank you!

  8. Lorraine Protz Dowell says

    Was wondering if it was alright to add 1/2 tsp. of vitamin C crystals and 1 rounded tbls. of gelatin powder to your sports drink recipe. Would there be any conflicts?

  9. Elaine McFadden says

    Instead of calcium magnesium powder would suggest using Terramin (on Amazon) powder instead. It has 57 IONIC minerals that came from millions of years of the Colorado taking parts of the mountains along its 1500 million length, pulverizing them to one micron in size (man can’t do this) and then a geo thermal action under them locked strong negative charge. Many comments on Amazon say big for energy booster. Mineral are absorbed like oxygen as in perfect form. Tetra shape creates huge surface area so like giant freight that hauls out the garbage besides leaving pure nutrition, and being anti bacteria, viral, parasitic, and fungal. Helps heal damage from GMOs, pesticides, toxins, radiation.

  10. Rachel Thurston says

    Hi Katie , this recipe looks awesome. Can one treat it basically like water in quantity consumed or is there a maximum daily consumption recommended?

  11. dee says

    Anyone know a brand of Coconut Water in the UK which is pure coconut water with no sugar or sweetners added. So far I’ve not found such a product. Help appreciated.

    • Fay says

      I would just go get a real coconut from an Asian market and get it from there… NOTHING beats coconut juice from a real coconut! Yum!

      I usually pay .75 cents (less than a dollar / buck / $1.00) for a whole coconut! (Not the brown mature ones, but the ones that are hexagon shape from them chopping them that way! Delicious!

  12. Jessica Olejnik says

    I’ve been making my own sports drinks for quite some time. Im constantly altering them as I learn new tricks. I use 1/2 tsp liquid minerals (sea harvested), a pinch of magnesium powder (I dissolve it in the tea as its steeping), fresh squeezed lemon juice, honey and herb tea as my water/liquid base (usually green tea, dandelion or hibiscus). all in all it’s still cheaper than coconut milk, I run, mtn bike and horse back ride far too often to use cocnut milk for every adventure- so this concoction works amazingly well and it tastes great! I have friends and family hooked on it too!

  13. Cate says

    The most important ingredient is the salt. Water can’t rehydrate you unless your salt reserves are high enough for the necessary electrolytes.

  14. Cheyenne Shepard says

    A lot of these look awesome..except that they contain one or more artificial sweetners (yes stevia is included) my roommate is allergic to all of them, cannot be in the same room with them..and I won’t risk his life over it. Maybe show with and without?

    • Sarah J says

      Sweetner is simply for taste, if someone is allergic to sweetner then I’m sure they’re used to food and drink without them and won’t miss the sweet part.

  15. Vahram says


    I came across your page when I was looking for a homemade electrolyte solution.

    Thank you for the recipe.

    FYI, there is no such thing as “Himalayan Sea Salt” as the Himalayas are a mountain range.

    I think what you are referring to is Himalayan PINK salt.



  16. Dan Rollins says

    Thank you for this post! My wife was pretty sick and we needed something like Gatorade but not poisonous :) I was looking for what I had in the house to make your recipe and realized I could do it with 2 ingredients. We had Strawberry Zevia that can act as the base liquid AND the sweetener since it is a natural soda with Stevia. I mixed 2 12oz cans with 1/4 tsp of Himalayan Sea Salt and it was pretty dang good, my said it seemed to help. I am going to go mic up some Cal-Mag tablets from the coop to keep on hand for the next batch.

  17. Marci says

    I’m surprised that you would recommend using Emergen-C since it contains those mystery natural flavors, and also maltodextrin and aspartic acid (both are neurotoxins).

    • Jasmine says

      I agree with you Marci! The ingredients look like this:

      [ Fructose, malic acid, citric acid, vegetable juice color, natural mixed berry flavors, maltodextrin, raspberry juice powder, silica, tartaric acid, caramel color, stevia (leaf extract), glycine, aspartic acid, and cysteine hydrochloride. ]

      There’s quite a few ingredients that are a no-no.

  18. Shannon says

    I got too much sun yesterday and now I’m suffering dehydration and sun sickness. All I have are calcium magnesium capsules with 1000mg of calcium and 500mg of magnesium each. Can I break them open to use and if so, how many should I use? Thanks so much.

  19. Emily Coutant says

    My question is about the green tea in this recipe. Can it be affective with decaf green tea or does it have to have caffeine? I ask because I can’t have caffeine. I am an exercise junkie, but I hate the sports drinks that are available. I have been looking for a natural alternative and this sounds great. I can’t wait to try it so a quick response would be appreciated. Thanks, Emily.

  20. Kristina says

    I’m planning for upcoming birth of my first :)
    Can I use Natural Calm powder in this? Alternatively can I use magnesium and calcium tablets separately, and crush them? Thanks! Love your site!

  21. Bridy says

    i find nothing boost my kids energy more when they are sick then sports drinks. However, I feel horrible giving them the the kids. So I thank you for this. I just made a batch of it for my son who is sick and feverish with Strep. He will probably drink it warm as it will help sooth his throat.

  22. deb says

    hi . this recipe would work great if i added a larger amount of magnesium citrate for a colon prep. But i dont know how much any ideas? I think the OTC in cvs has 1000mg per glass container. anyone else use the natural calm poweder for a colon prep. the OTC in cvs has saccharin in it bummer.

  23. Melanie says

    Thanks much for this. It’s well below zero, we don’t have a car, and hubby is sick. I was not wanting to walk even the short distance to the store to get gatoraide, but he needed something to help fend off dehydration. I used herbal tea (mostly for color), salt, and agave nectar.

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