All Natural Sports Drink (No More Gatorade!)

May 20, 2011 · 31 comments


gatorade Do you cringe like I do when someone gives your kids a Gatorade or Powerade sports drink?  Would you like an easy all-natural sports drink recipe?

What’s the big deal?

Sports drinks from the store contain ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, chemical preservatives, fake colors and flavors, and other nasty stuff.  Here’s a blurb from Gatorade’s website in their FAQ section:

“Why do you use artificial color? Can you make Gatorade without artificial colors?

The colors of Gatorade not only look good but also help in flavor perception and enable you to tell different flavors apart. All colors and ingredients in Gatorade qualify for human consumption according to the requirements of the FDA, added at the lowest possible level to achieve the desired color.”

That makes us feel better doesn’t it?  NOT.

Thankfully, my friend Sonia has come through again!

She made it her mission to come up with an inexpensive, simple recipe for a homemade, all-natural sports drink without the scary ingredients.

Here are her recipe notes:

Below are my two ‘recipes’.  They were tasty to my family, but this is definitely one of those things that everyone will want to adjust. Something for your readers to keep in mind, however, is that there is a proper amount of sugar needed for the most effective absorption of a sports drink. I took the information from this site.  So if your readers want to tweak the recipe, they should consider adding a little Stevia, fresh lemon or lime juice–not more of the pre-made juice.

I have a pitcher with a plunger-mixer built in to the top. It is perfect for getting the honey mixed in thoroughly and dissolving the sea salt. Otherwise, a whisk or a vigorous shaking will do the trick.

All-Natural Sports Drink – Lemon Flavor:

  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 2 quarts water

Mix well.  Makes a little over 2 quarts.

Sonia’s All-Natural Sports Drink – Cranberry-Pomegranate Flavor:

  • 2 c. 100% juice cranberry-pomegranate juice
  • 1.5 individual packets of Stevia (or to taste)
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 2 quarts water

Mix well.   Makes 2 1/2 quarts.

UPDATE: A few readers have reminded me that coconut water is a super nourishing sports drink on its own!  For these recipes, though, I’m not sure if you could just use it to replace the water, or if there are some other tweaks that should happen, does anyone know?

***Also, see this post from Stanley:  Grass fed bone broth – the traditional mineral supplement!


Nourishing Beverage Recipes:


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    { 30 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Musings of a Housewife May 20, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Oh fun, I will definitely try this. I really want to make Kefir water – I was able to buy some at my whole foods mart and I like it!! I also like how my tummy likes it. But I am just dreading investing in all the bottles and stuff. It seems like a pain, and it’s yet another expense, sigh….


    2 Kelly the Kitchen Kop May 20, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Kefir water is actually SO easy JL!! I make kefir soda regularly. :)


    3 KitchenKop July 1, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    (I just came across this again when looking the recipe up for a friend…) Did you try making it yet, Jo-Lynne?

    I just wanted to tell you that the bottles and capper and caps are actually super cheap. And to make kefir soda pop, it literally takes me 5 minutes or less one day, and 10 minutes or less the next whenever I decide we need more. Easy!


    4 ValerieH May 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I have water kefir grains. It sits on the counter for 3 days (or more). When we want to drink it, I put it in a pitcher, add some sweetener, lemon juice or herbal fruit tea and call it “mom’s kool-aid”.


    5 Katie @ Wellness Mama May 22, 2011 at 12:13 am

    It is incredibly easy, and I just use mason jars and not any special bottles. I hope its ok to share a link… this is the recipe I use . It makes the soda well carbonated, and we all love it. Right now, my water kefir grains are making 1/2 gallon every 1-2 days, which is enough for our family. I’d definitely encourage you to try it!


    6 Amanda Y. May 20, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I’m really surprised to see you are in favor of stevia? I really wonder if it it won’t just come out to be just as bad as other fake sweeteners in several years?


    7 Kelly the Kitchen Kop May 20, 2011 at 7:09 am

    All my trusted sources say this one is ok! I rarely use it myself though as I’ve never had good luck w/ it.


    8 karyn May 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Stevia is an actual plant whereas the other fake sweeteners are, well, not really anything, are they?


    9 JayAnna May 24, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Yes! Stevia comes from the “stevia leaf” itself, whereas most fake sweeteners rely on the sugar FRUCTOSE to sweeten without calories. The problem with fructose is that it is a type of sugar that our body cannot digest, hence the problems and symptoms of using those sweeteners. Other rely on aspartame–a man-made chemical to sweeten (yoplait light yogurt uses this one for example). Truvia is another good, all-natural sweetener–also extracted from the stevia leaf. =)


    10 KitchenKop May 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Truvia has something else in there too, though, I believe it’s a sugar alcohol (iffy from what I hear), but don’t have time to go look it up right now…


    11 Lynne May 20, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Great timing! I need this recipe. Football training has begun.


    12 Rivki May 20, 2011 at 7:38 am

    My kids will be sooooo excited! I am the mean mommy who doesn’t allow sports drink or soda.


    13 Tamara May 20, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I make a ‘gatorade’ drink that tastes just like the lemon lime flavor, just not as sweet. I pour plain coconut water over lots of ice and add a squirt (maybe a couple tsps) of key lime juice (key lime does taste more like gatorade in this concoction but regular lime would work fine). Stir and enjoy!


    14 Rachel (Girl In An Apron) May 20, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I was just talking with my midwife last night about alternatives to gatorade, and coconut water can get pricey. Thank you so much for posting this!


    15 Julie May 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Thanks! This post is a keeper. Good ideas from Sonia and also those commenting.


    16 shannon May 20, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Totally bookmarking these! While in labor, I drank orange Gatorade like it was going out of style. It hit the spot so much and I drank it for days afterwards too. I think I was very dehydrated because I was in the birthing pool for many hours and I’d like to try one of these instead this time.


    17 Andy May 20, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I will definitely try these. What I usually drink to replace a ‘sports drink’ is coconut water.


    18 Amber May 20, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Totally going to put this together this weekend and play with it. I’ve a feeling I’m going to need it going through my last trimester in the heat of the summer ;-)


    19 sandy May 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Wow! These recipe’s are awesome! I’m certainly going to try these for my husband. THANK YOU!


    20 KitchenKop May 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks to those of you above (and on Twitter) who reminded me about coconut water – this IS a very nourishing drink! I just wonder how it should change these recipes though, or is it fine to just use it to replace the water in the recipe? Does anyone know? I’m going to edit the post…


    21 Liz Ferguson May 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Kelly… I’ve never been able to stomach sports drinks, even before I knew what was in them! My long runs do require electrolyte replacement though, and I drink coconut water. I’ve run 14 – 23 mile runs (2’ish — 4+ hours) and and felt great with coconut water supplementing my plain ole’ water.


    22 Bekah May 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Last time I was in labor I drank diluted coconut water with lemon and salt added to taste. It worked great and I felt great.


    23 Hannah May 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    These recipes sound much more delicious then sports drinks to me. I had a Gatorade once and I can’t stand them now.
    These drinks sound like the perfect refreshment for a hot summer day when you’ve been playing outside. Can’t wait to try it!


    24 Melody Joy May 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Those look great! Just to contribute a few more…When I was in labor I drank labor-aide. Very similar to the first sports drink recipe, but with calcium and magnesium added (via crushed up supplements). My midwife recommended it but I think Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home has a similar recipe, too.


    25 GiGi May 24, 2011 at 1:15 am

    I see olade as the “all natural” sports drink:


    26 Colleen June 20, 2011 at 10:15 am

    As if we adults are so dumb that if the beverage isn’t colored purple, it wouldn’t taste like grape???? Or if it’s not red in color, we don’t know by tasting that it’s cherry or strawberry?????? And goodness knows we certainly can’t READ the label where it TELLS us the flavor???? HELLO? I guess they just think we are stupid!

    These companies and their VERY POOR excuses are driving me crazy!!!! Sheesh!


    27 this guy September 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    actually, your sight and smell and taste are very closely related. if lemon jello is colored red, people think its a red fruit. really. its not stupidity, its just the way our brains are wired. google it =D


    28 james June 10, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    From what I understand coconut water can replace water. Tom Brady, the patriots QB, keeps it in his locker.


    29 Kim Courtier June 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Theres also a really healthy alternative like it tastes great and has way less sugar, is more natural. I hate when I see other moms giving their kids gatoraide. Vitalyte is much better imo


    30 Caroline Novak July 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been looking for a natural sports drink recipe to replace Gatorade, Eload and all those, and think I’ll try these.


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