About 8 months ago, DIY Natural community member Peggy shared her recipe for homemade Gatorade with us. I kept telling myself I would try this out, but it slowly sunk further down in my email inbox.
Even after I had a pregnant friend request I make her some homemade Gatorade when everything else sounded repulsive to her, I still didn’t do it. (I could have gained major friend points for following through on this and helping out a thirsty, desperate, pregnant woman, but I let the opportunity pass. Nuts!)
I didn’t even dig the recipe out in preparation for our 2 day, 31-mile hike, on a “most difficult”-rated trail in the mountains.
Nor did I think to make it when I was sick in bed for 4 days, though I felt like a raisin I was so dehydrated.
What do you know, I worked up a tiny little sweat doing yard work and cleaning house the other day, and it finally prompted me to venture down Electrolyte Lane.
I decided to dig out Peggy’s recipe and conduct the greatest homemade sports drink experiment my kitchen has ever known. (It hasn’t known any, but this was a great first.) It left me waddling to bed with a belly full of liquid, sloshing with each step. What can I say, there was a lot of taste testing to be done.
Tackling the recipe
My original goal was to experiment with sweeteners like raw honey and maple syrup. I made 3 different batches, and the honey-sweetened drink was the clear winner. I ended up making a second-place batch with organic cane sugar, and a losing batch with maple syrup. The maple syrup ruined the refreshing aspect of this thirst-quenching drink by making it taste heavy. (Matt actually made a face and called it “horrible.”)
I would have made more test batches had I not run out of fresh citrus fruit juice; besides, it was past my bedtime. That said, I’m very pleased with the first place Gatorade knock-off adapted from Peggy’s original recipe. (Makes me want to go
help a friend move rearrange my furniture, or run walk briskly around the neighborhood so I can have an excuse to keep drinking it.)
If you want to try this winning recipe with honey, be sure to procure the best local raw honey you can find. If it’s not raw, it’s refined and pasteurized, and no better than white table sugar. All the nutrients are gone and sometimes high fructose corn syrup is added during processing.
Unlike commercial sports drinks, this homemade version contains no artificial colors or artificial sweeteners! (I laughed out loud when I read Gatorade’s explanation for adding artificial colors.)
All-Natural Lemon Lime Sports Drink
- 3 cups filtered water (where to buy water purification systems)
- ¼ cup local raw honey (where to buy raw, unfiltered honey)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt (where to buy unrefined sea salt)
- juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime (about ⅓ cup)
Juice lemon and lime, straining out any seeds (and pulp if you wish). Add all ingredients to a container with a tight-fitting lid and shake well until honey and salt are dissolved. Chill in the refrigerator. Makes about 1 quart.
- Everyone’s tastebuds are different, so feel free to add more or less of any ingredient to make the perfect formula for your tastes.
- Use whichever natural sweetener you prefer. If using cane sugar, 3-4 teaspoons should be sufficient in the above recipe. I didn’t test out any other sweeteners (and I’m not recommending maple syrup) so you’ll have to conduct a little taste test of your own to determine the right amounts.
- Natural sea salt and honey contain electrolytes, sugar does not. The salt replaces sodium lost through sweat and helps the body rehydrate faster by aiding the body in quicker absorption of fluids.
- The honey dissolved quickly, but a granulated sweetener may need to be dissolved in a bit of heated water.
- Feel free to use all lemons or all limes.
- I made a batch of orange sports drink with the juice of 2 oranges, same amount of water and salt, and 4 teaspoons of organic cane sugar (Honey could be substituted, probably ¼ cup.) Side note: This drink was also good, but I was kind of bummed because I thought this wouldn’t need any sweetener. The salt taste came through strongly, and I ended up adding a little sugar at a time until I liked the flavor. Your tastebuds might require less.
- Since this sports drink doesn’t contain preservatives, the shelf life is not as long as commercial sports drinks. Refrigerate and drink within a few days.
- If you’re looking for a good raw honey source, check Farmer’s Markets, local roadside stands, or do a search for “raw honey” under your zipcode on LocalHarvest.com.
Ready to sweat or get sick
Just think, if you have citrus fruit trees in your yard, you can make truckloads of this stuff and share with all your sweaty friends. Or pregnant friends.
I’m just glad I finally got around to testing out a sports drink recipe in time for the scorching summer heat. Now I can rehydrate and replenish electrolytes with this simple and delicious recipe.