DIY Electrolyte Sports Drink

It’s getting hot out there, folks.  I have a feeling summer will be brutal and will come quickly this year for the East Coast. I’m pretty sure the amazing people who ran the Boston Marathon in record temperatures would agree – I followed updates from the race online and all I can say is WOW. People are amazing and inspiring and borderline crazy to run 26.2 miles in pure heat.  I got my own preview of the heat on a run yesterday evening – luckily there was plenty of shade but I could feel the heat draining me. I can also tell that I’m not getting enough electrolytes post-workout; my calves and feet have been cramping like crazy after a hard run or gym session  and it seems to get worse with the heat.

Running the 10K – definitely wasn’t warm that day!

Hot, long, and sweaty (TWSS) workouts indoors and outdoors require more than h20 hydration. This is usually where sports drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, and even coconut water step in.  With the exception of coconut water, I’ve never been a fan of sports drink – they’re just too syrupy sweet for me. Coconut water is a good choice but I try not to drink anything with sugar so I tend not to drink it.

Plus, I’d prefer to rehydrate with natural stuff, not ingredients I can’t pronounce and artificial colors.  I’ve always wanted to make my own sports drink and after a quick trip to Google, I found it was easier than I anticipated.  Plus, unless you’re doing a long endurance event, you don’t need added sugar. If you do need a little extra fuel, add a few tablespoons of honey.  Here’s what my DIY sports drink contains:

p.s. I’m on instagram! Look me up @ gabbysgfree

Lemons:  Lemons are not only detoxifying to the liver but also provide a great hit of potassium – an essential electrolyte- and has lots of other benefits.

Salt:  Salt is essential for electrolyte balance.  I tend to be a super salty sweater and crave salt after a difficult workout so I made sure to include enough salt in my drink.

Ginger Water: Ginger is delicious, helps ease stomach problems, and may even help with muscle soreness and recovery.

Easy, natural, and cheap.  That’s my kind of drink.


DIY Electrolyte Sports Drink

Yield: 1.5 liters

1/2 liter of ginger water, recipe below

1 liter of water

juice of 3 small lemons

1/2 tsp. sea salt (you can add a bit more if you’d like)

stevia to taste


Ginger Water:

1medium-sized ginger root

1 liter of water

liquid stevia, to taste

1. Cut ginger into large coins and place into a large pot.  Add water.

2.  Bring water to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.  Shut off heat and let the ginger water steep until cool.

3. Add liquid stevia to taste and store in airtight container, pitcher, or jar in the fridge.


1. Mix all ingredients together into a large jar or pitcher and stir to combine.  Refrigerate and now you have a healthy, natural sports drink!

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Comments: 26

  1. Liz @ iheartvegetables April 19, 2012 at 7:08 am Reply

    Love this idea! And it’s cheaper than those fancy-pants sports drinks! I looove lots of lemon in my water, but I never think it add ginger!

    • gabbysgfree April 19, 2012 at 7:18 am Reply

      Thanks! I love ginger water – I keep a huge jar of it in the fridge at all times. Nothing better than ginger, lemon, and mint water on a warm day!

      • Esteban April 15, 2015 at 9:47 pm Reply

        i couldn’t get the root itself so i got some powder ginger, can i use that? if so, how much should i use?

        • gabbysgfree May 3, 2015 at 9:21 am Reply

          You can but I would suggest fresh ginger. For powdered ginger, add slowly to taste.

  2. Catherine April 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm Reply

    Love the sound of the sports drink AND the ginger water. How long do you think either of those mixes would stay “fresh” if kept refrigerated? Thinking about making large batches to keep on hand. Or, maybe freeze in batches using ice cub trays or silicon muffin trays?

    Thanks for sharing so many great ideas!


    • gabbysgfree April 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm Reply

      Thanks! I would think both would keep for a good while – I store mine in a very large airtight jar in the fridge. I only make 1 – 1.5 liters at a time so it goes quickly.

  3. Lately… | Gabby's Gluten-Free April 20, 2012 at 7:10 am Reply

    […] – I don’t love that 8.25 laps = 1 mile I carry a lot of bottles on a daily basis:  DIY sports drink, water, iced coffee, and protein shake I saw this guy while running through Maymont to meet my mom […]

  4. brthomas May 13, 2012 at 12:50 am Reply

    My homemade natural sports drink recipe uses lemon juice and stevia like your recipe does, but I add lite salt to get both potassium and sodium electrolytes.

  5. […] 3. Moving requires snacks and DIY electrolyte drink. […]

  6. Skylor @sproutlifestyle October 6, 2012 at 11:43 am Reply

    it’s as simple as that huh? Genius. I will be making my own electrolyte water from now on!

  7. 9 Homemade Sports Drink Recipes February 4, 2014 at 7:15 am Reply

    […] Gabby’s Gluten-Free / […]

  8. Adele May 4, 2014 at 8:25 am Reply

    When am I supposed to add the lemon and salt? Before or after boiling the ginger in the liquid?

  9. saquib June 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm Reply

    i want to ask if stevia is not available, so what can b the alternative for it,

  10. […] 1. Ginger Electrolyte Sports Drink If a long, tough workout leaves you feeling a bit queasy, try this homemade drink that uses ginger water as its base. Not only will the tangy spice calm your stomach, ginger may also reduce muscle pain and soreness. Photo and Recipe: Gabby / Gabby’s Gluten-Free 2. Cranberry-Maple Sports Drink Recipe High in vitamin C, this cranberry sports drink provides a tangy option to replenish depleted electrolytes. Maple syrup and star anise blend for a sweet and savory flavor combination.Photo and Recipe: Jenn / Fit Bottomed Eats […]

  11. […] *DIY Electrolyte Sports Drink from gabbysfree […]

  12. Fernando August 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm Reply

    Hi Gabby:
    Please be more specific with the amount of ginger required (Ounces or grams).
    Thank you very much,

  13. […] well as weird excitement. And I think I’m starting to turn into a running geek. I even made a home made electrolyte recovery drink this weekend for yesterday’s run, because I generally despise the taste and feeling left in […]

  14. Darryl June 26, 2015 at 8:42 pm Reply

    Excellent recipe. I’ve wanted to break free from sports drinks for long distance running for a while. ..I love this recipe and will never go back to commercial sports drinks.

  15. roy manuel de guzman August 10, 2015 at 9:37 am Reply

    Thanks for the info on DiY sports drink, what is the substitute for liquid stevia?

  16. igor Griffiths August 26, 2015 at 2:15 pm Reply

    Hello Gabby

    As I work in Saudi Arabia, drinking plenty of water is required but this does not replace the lost salts so was looking for an electrolyte drink recipe and found yours. Just made it without adding any sweetner and double celtic salt, surprised to find that in the local store. Tastes great and feel so much better for drinking just one glass.

    Think I will start to have one glass of your mix after work and take a sugar/salt mix into work to add to the water bottles I drink throughout the day.

  17. James August 30, 2015 at 4:11 am Reply

    I have this drink almost every day. I love its taste and it is really refreshing. I have made a list of the best homemade energy drinks here – and of course I listed this recipe as well. Thanks.

  18. […] and store in airtight container in the fridge. Mix all ingredients together, chill, and enjoy! (Photo: Gabby's Gluten-Free)   More Reading The 5 best and worst nutrition bars Kimberly Snyder: Drink coconut water […]

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