Food and Cuisine

Published on January 26th, 2012 | by Vivian Nelson Melle


Make Your Own Hydrating Sports Drink

The sports drink aisle grows into a meandering wall of plastic bottle-filled elixirs coming in every color of the rainbow. With the overwhelming number of sports drink choices it’s easy to throw in the towel and stick to water. However, sports drinks help the body replace valuable nutrients and electrolytes lost during strenuous workouts. Luckily, you don’t have to purchase your revitalizing quencher.

Here’s how to make your own hydrating sports drink, saving money and the endless flood of plastic bottles filling our landfills.

lemon juice

Lemon juice

The best recipe for sports drinks I’ve come across came from BRT Insights. It’s simple and easily made with items around the house. First, start with a natural juice from of corn syrup and additives. While any juice can be used, lemon juice is an excellent choice because of its quenching abilities and it’s vitamin C boost. For a gallon of drink you will need a cup of lemon juice. While store-bought can be used, hand squeezed is by far the tastiest and most Earth-friendly choice.

{cc photo courtesy of michelle@TNS on Flickr}


Salt shakers

While you can choose simple table salt, it’s far healthier to purchase a product like Morton’s Lite Salt which offers both magnesium and potassium. These valuable nutrients are lost during exercise and replenishing them back into your system will help refresh and recuperate energy after your workout. For the gallon of sports drink, you will need 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

{cc photo courtesy of crayonbeam on Flickr}

maple syrup

Maple syrup

Sweetener is added to the sports drink not just for flavor, but for energy as well. Sugar is a viable option, but there are actually several sweetening choices available. Agave syrup and honey are obvious choices for the health conscious and maple syrup is an excellent choice for vegans. Maple syrup is one of the ingredients in the famed Maple Syrup Diet because it’s chalked full of nutrients manganese and heart-healthy zinc. You can play around with the ratio since tastes differ, but about 1/4 cup per gallon is a good place to start.Make sure you are using real maple syrup and not maple-flavored syrup which is usually just flavored corn syrup.

{cc photo courtesy of Katherine Martinelli on Flickr}

pouring water

Pouring water

For the gallon size sports drink, you’ll need four quarts of water. You’ll want water you’d normally drink, so if your tap water’s your usual choice, it should be fine  for this recipe. One gallon of the home made sports drink can be broken down into four 32-ounce reusable bottles. That’s about the size of most popular grocery-store buys which, when on sale, can hover around $1.00 each. Not only are you saving money, you are keeping plastic bottle from the recycle bin, or even better, out of the garbage.

{cc photo courtesy of  Images by John ‘K’ on flickr}

What is your favorite sports drink? Have you tried making your own after workout replenisher?

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About the Author

Vivian Nelson Melle is a writer and life coach helping individuals, families, and businesses thrive. She supports small businesses especially in the areas of Green Living, Health, and Wellness. She can be found at and

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