Homemade Electrolyte Drink (With Flavor Options)

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Drinking enough pure clean water is one of the most important things we can do for overall health. In most cases, water alone is wonderful. When there’s hot weather or we’re exercising and sweating though we lose minerals through our sweat. A homemade electrolyte drink can help replenish minerals and remedy electrolyte imbalances.

Do We Really Need Electrolytes?

You may have heard that our bodies are 80% water, but they’re actually 80% salt water.

Plain water doesn’t have high levels of electrolytes. And our body loses a lot of minerals during exercise and hot weather. Adding electrolytes and minerals helps with rehydration after times of high-intensity exercise or lots of sweating. They’re also useful during times of illness if someone has vomiting or diarrhea to maintain fluid balance.

We need electrolytes to maintain healthy blood pressure, for our nervous system, and to prevent muscle cramps. They help move waste through the body and are overall necessary for every function! In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need supplements but electrolyte water and drinks can be very helpful for some.

My Cautionary Tale

This post could also be titled “How to avoid a big hospital charge for IV fluids while on vacation.” Hopefully, you can learn from my mistake on this one.

Years ago I went on vacation and spent days on the beach snorkeling, sailing, and scuba diving.

Normally, if I’m out in the sun I have my own homemade electrolyte drink with me, but this time I’d forgotten some of the ingredients. I figured I would just drink enough water, which worked fine until I had wine for dinner that night, coffee the next morning, and not enough water.

At that point, I noticed I was getting a headache. I started drinking water but the headache got worse and I also started having a rapid pulse, dizziness, and nausea. Even after drinking lots of water I still had dehydration and heat exhaustion symptoms.

This resulted in a trip to the international hospital to get fluids. After the most painful IV of my life with a 12-gauge needle, the fluids were in and I started to feel better!

After several hours of sitting in a hospital getting hydrated with IVs, I couldn’t help but think how much easier, cheaper, and less painful things would have been if I’d remembered my DIY electrolyte drink.

Why Not Regular Sports Electrolyte Drinks?

So why not just drink one of the many store-bought electrolyte drinks available (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) these days?

Regular sports drinks contain lots of glucose, artificial flavors and colors, and not much nourishment.

I’m all for rehydrating, but are the preservatives, mystery flavors, and artificial dyes really necessary? I know from experience that these ingredients typically make me feel terrible and just aren’t worth it. Now when I need something more than water to hydrate I make my own version.

Natural Sports Electrolyte Drink Recipe

Coconut water is one of the simplest sports drink alternatives and can be used as is. It’s similar in structure to the fluid used in IV rehydration. For this reason, there are rumors it was used during the Pacific War as an IV electrolyte replacement. It makes a pretty good natural electrolyte drink on its own or with a splash of lime juice.

Coconut water is a great source of potassium and sodium and I even used it during labor. The only downside to coconut water is the price. If you want an inexpensive (yet still healthy and tasty) alternative, this recipe is the next best thing.

Homemade Electrolyte Drink Recipe

You can make this recipe in a variety of ways, but the ratios are the most important part. The base is any healthy liquid of choice and some good options are:

To turn the basic liquid into a sports drink, add some or all of these ingredients:

  • Salt – A high-quality salt adds sodium and other essential minerals. Table salt is pure sodium chloride and doesn’t have trace minerals, but Himalayan or sea salt are great options.
  • Calcium and Magnesium – Adding calcium magnesium powder helps replenish minerals.
  • Juice – Optional but adds sweetness and natural sugars if needed during exertion. Orange juice, lime juice, and fresh lemon juice are some of our favorites and add vitamin C and potassium.
  • Natural Flavors – Add natural flavors like fresh ginger, fresh herbs, or even natural-flavored stevia extracts

This recipe is naturally gluten-free and can easily be made low-carb by omitting the added juice.

Want to Buy it?

Looking for a quick way to have electrolytes on hand, especially during travel? These are my favorite no-junk electrolyte powder drinks.

  • LMNT – I’m a big fan of these flavored electrolyte powder that replaces vital electrolytes lost from sweating. They work amazingly on their own with just water and have different flavors like citrus, grapefruit, or watermelon.
  • Jigsaw Health Electrolyte Supreme – My favorite flavor is the Berry-licious.
homemade electrolyte drink

Homemade Electrolyte Drink Recipe

Save money and avoid artificial ingredients by making your own homemade natural sports drink recipe with electrolytes. There are endless options to make a flavor you love!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Calories 70kcal
Author Katie Wells


4 cups



  • Brew tea if using, or slightly warm base liquid.
  • Add sea salt and calcium magnesium powder and mix.
  • Add juice and sweetener if using and mix or shake well. A mason jar works well for this.
  • Cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • This will last up to four days in the refrigerator, but I prefer to make it as needed.


Nutrition Facts
Homemade Electrolyte Drink Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 70 Calories from Fat 5
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.5g1%
Saturated Fat 0.4g3%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.01g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.02g
Sodium 395mg17%
Potassium 620mg18%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 1IU0%
Vitamin C 28mg34%
Calcium 77mg8%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • My normal recipe includes 1 quart of tea (brewed with red raspberry leaf, alfalfa, nettle, and stevia), ¼ tsp sea salt, 1 tsp calcium magnesium powder, and ¼ cup grape or apple juice.
  • Another easy alternative is mixing vitamin C powder with water, salt, and a little juice.
  • The magnesium in this recipe is 27 mg per serving. Nutrition data was calculated using raw honey, coconut water, and grape juice. The exact nutrients will depend on which ingredients you use. 

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

What’s your favorite sports drink? Ever made your own?

This homemade natural electrolyte sports drink recipe is an alternative to store-bought drinks with artificial ingredients and provides vitamins and sodium.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


214 responses to “Homemade Electrolyte Drink (With Flavor Options)”

  1. Marcy Avatar

    I see a lot of people recommend LMNT but don’t they use sodium chloride? Too bad they can’t use a better salt with trace minerals.

  2. Emily Avatar

    5 stars
    My whole family got a stomach bug and this SAVED us! It tastes so good I’m now making it every few days and we drink it all the time. I don’t use juice, and love raw local honey as the sweetener. Lemon ginger, or and Indian ginger/turmeric/cardamom tea has been our favorites for the base. We’ve even made a more concentrated version and mixed it with sparkling water for a treat!

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      According to the manufacturer “About the natural flavors, those are either distilled or extracted from fruits, roots, and spices and then spray-dried into powder form. The powdered flavors are created through a spray dry process that turns liquid flavors into a fine, dry powder that delivers taste in a blendable and shelf-stable form. Spray Drying involves encapsulating a flavor’s taste through the use of rapidly drying material, including water, flavor carrier, and flavor.” So the flavors come from natural, food sources, similar to dehydrating a food and grinding it into a very fine powder.

  3. sam nordland Avatar
    sam nordland

    I know it’s so many years after your original post but I stumbled upon this recipe as I am looking for electrolyte recipes and have a question about the magnesium calcium powder. I live in the UK and Natural Calms isn’t available, neither is magnesium calcium powders. Would you recommend buying magnesium citrate and calcium citrate separately and adding them in? Is there anything else you could recommend instead? (Lots of the premixed powders that are available here have added Vit C or Zinc at hundreds of times the daily reference values which I’m trying to avoid due to the dangers associated with that).

    I have an ileostomy and us ileostomates get dehydrated verrrrry easily as we only have our small intestine. It’s advised for us to consume sports drinks, squashes and mixes like Pediolyte almost exclusively with very little pure water as that will just dehydrate us. I avoid sports drinks entirely and depend on the ready made electrolyte sachets and tablets like NUUNS which are unsustainably expensive, whilst juice and squash have lots of sugar without the salt balance. so I am looking to make my own variations. It’s surprisingly impossible to find information about what to add and in what quantities and yours is one of the only recipes out there that includes magnesium and calcium!

  4. Gabriel Avatar

    5 stars
    Can I make a large bottle of the electrolyte water and leave it in the fridge for the week? Or do I have to drink it right away?

  5. Susan Dubose Avatar
    Susan Dubose

    5 stars
    Perfect timing! My husband is spending a fortune on store bought, I can’t wait to make these for him!

  6. Alice Avatar

    Where is the potassium in your recipe? I’ve heard it’s critical and is in the LMNT product you recommend. I have heard people using cream of tartar for added potassium for the adrenal cocktail.

    1. Jessica Avatar

      Yeah, so confused – potassium is pretty much the most important part – I use electrolyte drinks for Hyperthyroidism as low potassium caused paralysis for me as a teenager – very scary experience. I think you can get potassium from “lite salt” at the supermarket. I’m pretty sure you are suppose to balance it so there is more potassium than salt.

  7. Rachel Winker Avatar
    Rachel Winker

    1) “Natural flavor” is not just another name for MSG – MSG is an allergen, so if it’s in something, it has to be specifically listed in the ingredients. If they were the same thing, then “monosodium glutamate” and “natural flavor” could never appear on the same ingredient list, and I know of quite a few things that have both of them on its list.

    2) According to the World Health Organization, the best oral electrolyte replacements have a small amount of sugar in them, because there has to be a small amount for the minerals, vitamins, and water to absorb the best they can, so the sugar (whatever the source, but it has to be actual sugar, not any kind of sugar substitute) is absolutely essential for optimal effectiveness. The problem with most electrolyte drinks is that they have far too much sugar and not enough electrolytes in order to be truly effective.

    My personal favorite favorite for on-the-go is Banana Bag Oral Solution – developed by an ER doctor, it designed to be the exact oral equivalent of the IV banana bag administered in the ER for severe dehydration. I love that I can fly with it because it comes as a packet of powder and it doesn’t require any measuring.

  8. John Sullivan Avatar
    John Sullivan

    LMNT ??? This is crazy….. over 40 bucks for a few packets of salt. This must be like Jack in the Beanstalk Salt. :)…… Or Lord of the Rings Salt. The one salt that controls ALL other salts 😛
    No wonder other countries think Americans are nuts…
    Dr. John
    What’s easier than making a gallon of electrolyte drink at home and taking a quart a day with you. I mean it takes less than 3 minutes.

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      If you’re on the go and don’t want to carry a ton of liquid with you, the packets are a super convenient (and delicious way) to get enough electrolytes. And for athletes too…

  9. Alison Avatar

    4 stars
    Great article with important and accurate information. My reason for 4 instead of 5 stars are the links to amazon…not cool. Link to small companies that specialize in these products. 🙂

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      When I link to smaller companies people complain because they don’t know if they can be trusted and would prefer to buy on Amazon because of Prime and free shipping. When I link to Amazon people complain because they’re a huge company and take business away from smaller ones (even though the smaller companies could sell on Amazon), so it’s impossible to please everyone.

  10. Alexandra Avatar

    How much do you drink in a sitting? How potent is it? Thanks! -Alex

  11. Jaala Ragan Avatar
    Jaala Ragan

    I just wanted to say,
    You acknowledge how bad Natural Flavors are for you in your post, yet you recommend Bai water — which contains all sorts of terrible things, including Natural Flavors.
    I’m not sure if you knew this or not, just wanted to let you know it’s probably not something you should be endorsing. There are many other good drinks out there.
    Also, cucumber has more electrolytes than sports drinks as well.
    Thank you for your information 🙂

    1. Kris Avatar

      I’m not sure what other terrible ingredients you’re referring to but natural flavor can mean many different things. The bai drink contains natural flavors extracted from spices, fruit, etc. Not all products with “natural flavors” are made of chemicals and therefore bad for you, but you do need to do your research to find which products these are. Just thought I’d throw this out there.

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