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This homemade electrolyte drink is light, refreshing, and easy to drink. It’s packed with electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals from natural ingredients. Perfect for long days outside or when you’re sick with the flu.
Whether you’re training hard, spending all day out in the heat, or experiencing a nasty bout of the flu, this homemade electrolyte drink is the perfect solution to help the body stay hydrated during hardship.
While I typically try to sip on nourishing bone broth when I’m sick, sometimes even bone broth can be hard to stomach. This homemade electrolyte drink is light, refreshing, and easy to drink, which is especially important when it’s the kiddos who are sick, not you. It’s also incredibly easy to make (just put in a jar and stir), and packs a punch of vital nutrients the body needs to function.
This also is a wonderful labor-aid electrolyte drink! I have successfully used this twice during two very long labors with each of my children. If it wasn’t for this homemade electrolyte drink, I would have been so incredibly drained. My husband made a double batch both times when I started feeling contractions and I sipped on it when I couldn’t stomach anything else.
I originally came up with this recipe because I was looking for an alternative to gatorade. I spend years drinking gatorade when I was doing endurance training for triathlons and marathons. As I got older, I realized I didn’t want to put a bunch of processed sugar, food additives, and food dyes known to be contaminated with harmful ingredients into my body on a regular basis.
This homemade gatorade is not only tastier, it contains natural sugar and electrolytes so that you’re getting the fuel you need without all the other stuff you don’t.
Why use a Homemade Electrolyte Drink?
A good homemade electrolyte drink recipe should be in everyone’s recipe arsenal. It has a variety of uses, and is necessary for the body in many occasions.
Electrolytes are minerals that conduct electrical charges in your body. The primary ones are sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals can mean the difference between feeling like a champ and feeling like garbage. Especially during exercise.
Every message sent through your nervous system (including your brain) involves electrical transmissions—or nerve impulses. You need electrolytes in order for nerve impulses to fire. Electrolytes are in charge of delivering nutrients into cells, balancing the pH of the blood, and the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
The problem is, you lose electrolytes through sweat and when you go to the bathroom. Electrolytes have to be replaced through diet and supplementation. Your need increases significantly if you’re exercising regularly and sweating, or if you’re following a whole foods diet since it’s naturally low in sodium.
When training, especially fasted, electrolytes are critical for performance. Many athletes feel dehydrated and drink more water, however this can dilute blood sodium levels even further. This shows up as muscle cramps, headaches, fatigue, and sleep disturbances.
Here’s the thing. You do need to replace water after exercise and when sick, but you also need to replace electrolytes. This is why it’s so important to use a homemade electrolyte drink, not just water.
Electrolytes play a key roll in hormone regulation, too. Low sodium levels actually spike adrenal hormones like cortisol, which is our stress hormone. If you’re already dealing with chronic stress, it can add fuel to the flame.
What’s in the Drink?
This homemade electrolyte drink is packed with electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals.
Coconut water is often referred to as “nature’s gatorade” because it contains a variety of electrolytes including sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C, enzymes, and electrolytes, including calcium and potassium.
Raw honey contains antioxidants, a variety of vitamins and minerals, and has antimicrobial properties. Unprocessed sea salt contains 15% trace minerals, which means it contains sodium and a variety of other minerals.
Together, these ingredients make an incredibly tasty and effective homemade electrolyte drink that can supply the body with a concentrated source of nutrients. Cheers!
Serving and Storage for Homemade Electrolyte Drink
This homemade electrolyte drink is best served chilled. I typically add a little ice, especially if I’m using it when I’m working outside in the heat or working out. You can mix up a batch directly in a quart-sized mason jar and let it chill in the refrigerator before drinking. It will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Can I Make Ingredient Substitutions?
Yep! If you’re short an ingredient, you can absolutely make some shifts or substitutions to make a homemade electrolyte drink to your liking:
- Coconut water: Use filtered water in place of coconut water
- Lemons or Limes: For the best Lemon Lime flavor, try using the juice of 1/2 lemon, and 1 whole lime. If you don’t want the tang, use the juice of 1 freshly squeezed orange.
- Honey: Use maple syrup
Stocking the Pantry
I personally use Thrive Market for most of my pantry needs because it saves me some cash—especially when it comes to commonly used items like coconut water, honey, and salt. For a complete list of my recommend pantry items and what I use in my home, check out my Baking and Cooking Resources Page.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- Simple Homemade Chicken Bone Broth
- Red, White, and Blue Homemade Popsicles
- Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup (Whole30, Paleo)
- Creamy Crockpot White Chicken Chili (Paleo, Dairy-free)
- Homemade Magic Shell
Got any questions about this homemade electrolyte drink recipe? Have other variations you’d like to share? Comment below!