It is no secret that one must keep hydrated especially when exercising or when being exposed to hot environments that cause you to lose bodily fluids.
We have thoroughly discussed the side effects of dehydration in a previous article.
The reason why sports drinks are so popular is they replenish the body with fluids, carbohydrates, and electrolytes.
The reason why homemade sports drinks are so popular is because they are inexpensive and we like to know exactly what we are drinking to quench our thirst.
Sports drinks are important in assisting a healthy balance of natural minerals in the body, that are lost through sweating.
The successful marketing theory behind the store bought energy drinks is that a tasty flavored drink promotes increased consumption, therefore further hydration. (and increased sales!)
However, most commercial sports drinks contain high fructose corn syrup and are very costly.
To combat these issues I’ve included some easy homemade energy drink recipes.
Homemade Gatorade Drink Recipe Recommendations
All the sports drink recipes I’ve listed that call for salt, should include either natural sea salt or Morton Lite salt.
Each of these options will be effective in your homemade Gatorade, however using Morton Lite will produce a beverage with a higher level of potassium.
Ingesting an abundant amount of potassium is not harmful because excess levels that aren’t being used in the body are excreted by the kidneys through liquid waste.
Additionally some experts believe a high amount of potassium helps decrease the frequency of muscle cramps.
However, if you would like to reduce the amount of potassium in your homemade sports drink I would suggest cutting half the amount of Morton Lite the recipe calls for, with half regular table salt or simply substitute for organic sea salt.
Exclusively using sea salt is my personal recommendation as it naturally contains sodium, potassium, magnesium, iodine, calcium and other minerals that a beneficial to ones health.
Using either organic sea salt or Morton Lite salt in your sports drink recipe will ensure you are replenishing your body with the electrolytes it needs to refuel.
How to Make Your Own Gatorade From Scratch
The first recipe is the most basic method to make your own Gatorade, allowing you to play around with different flavors.
The second and third recipes are variations of the same concept, however the last two recipes are concoctions of historical importance.
Hay-Time Switchel was a popular energy boosting beverage consumed by farmers to quench their thirst throughout the hot long days of the harvest season, particularly during the strenuous collection of hay (hence the name.)
Sekanjabin is an ancient beverage from the Middle East that was traditionally served during the heat of the summer to refresh and hydrate the body from lost fluids.
I envision this particular drink being served on the patio rather than guzzled down at the gym after a long work out.
As per reader’s suggestion, stevia can definitely be used instead of sugar in all of the recipes found below.
- 1 package flavored drink mix or 1 cup juice (unsweetened)
(note: Personally I prefer the natural juice to the powdered drink mix, which is heavy with food dyes. My favorites are fresh squeezed orange or lemon juice.)
- 5 TBS sugar
- 1/4 TSP salt
- 2 quarts water
- Dissolve sugar and salt in water over the stove.
- Remove from heat and add drink mix or juice.
- Pour mixture into a pitcher and add remaining water.
- Chill before serving.
- 3 lemons or limes, juiced
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 TSP salt
- 1 quart water
- Combine all ingredients in a pitcher.
- Secure the lid tightly, shake, and chill.
- 2 tea bags
- 2 TBS sugar
- 1/2 TSP salt
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 quarts water
- Steep tea bags in hot water to desired strength.
- Dissolve sugar and salt in water over stove.
- Remove from heat and combine with tea and lemon juice in a pitcher.
- Add remaining water, chill and enjoy.
(Photo: CieraHolzenthal. via flickr/CC Attribution)
#4 Hay-Time Switchel
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 TSP ground ginger
- 1 1/2 quart water
- Heat all ingredients in 1/2 quart water over stove until ingredients are mixed completely.
- Remove from heat and pour into a pitcher.
- Add remaining water and chill.
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 cup red/ white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
(note: avoid white distilled vinegar, it harshens the flavor)
- 4 bags mint tea or a handful of fresh mint
- 2 1/2 cups water
- Dissolve sugar in water over stove.
- Once sugar has completely dissolved and mixture is simmering, add vinegar.
- Leave to simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add tea bags or fresh mint.
- When cool to the touch remove the mint and bottle syrup to store in a cool dry place.
- Add about 1 TBS of mixture to every 2 cups of water when needed.
Do you have a recipe you want to share?
Please leave them in the comments section below.
*This article was written by guest author, Libby Berg.