Homemade Gatorade {All-Natural Sports Drink with Electrolytes}

Homemade Gatorade is an all-natural sports drink with electrolytes to hydrate and replenish...with no processed ingredients, artificial sweeteners, or food dye!

Homemade, All-Natural Sports Drink {Gatorade Copycat Recipe} with text overlay.

The long hot summer is not quite over yet, and fall sports season 'tis upon us! That means it's the perfect time to share this homemade alternative to store-bought sports drinks.

Most of the time, I think that water is totally sufficient and the best choice for staying hydrated. But sometimes it's really hot...and the exertion is really extreme...and the sweat is pouring out in buckets. And that's when the kids start begging for Gatorade or an alternative sports drink and I feel bad saying no. Or a poor little one is sick and hardly able to keep anything down and becoming dehydrated, so replacing electrolytes is important.

Glass pitcher of homemade Gatorade.

But you wanna know the truth? I really dislike Gatorade. I read the label on the back of the bottle and it makes me cringe. Fake sweeteners, undisclosed flavoring, and artificial food dye. Are those icky things really worth the boost of electrolytes?

Over the summer, I was excited to find a new commercial sports drink with better ingredients...water, a bit of coconut water, cane sugar instead of fake sugar, "natural flavoring," and various vitamins and electrolytes. Definitely an improvement, but still not ideal. I would have liked to see a natural sweetener instead of sugar, and real fruit juice instead of flavoring. And that's when I had a light bulb moment that heyyyyy...maybe I could make my own sports drink at home!

A quick Google search revealed that I am clearly behind the times here. There are recipes aplenty for making a homemade sports drink with natural ingredients. So I started reading lots of different articles and doing research on what an electrolyte-replacing drink should include, and I started experimenting with my own combinations of ingredients.

Homemade Gatorade with ice in a glass.


Here is where I insert the disclaimer that I am not a doctor! If you are watching your sodium intake for any reason, you should consult your physician before consuming a drink containing extra salt. I am not here to tell you when a sports drink is appropriate for you or how much to drink. I am simply here to share a natural recipe that I am comfortable serving my family when I feel like replacing electrolytes is important based on extreme exertion or illness. Basically, if you already buy and consume Gatorade or a comparable sports drink, this version serves the same purpose while being healthier. 😉


So here's the formula for my Homemade, All-Natural Sports Drink with Electrolytes:

  • 100% Real Fruit Juice. Pick your favorite flavor here. Today I chose "fruit punch" that's a combo of pomegranate, cherry, grape, aroniaberry (huh?), black carrot, & blueberry. Make sure the ingredient list on the back of the bottle includes real fruit juice plus water with no added sugar, but keep in mind that the juice is going to be pretty diluted within the sports drink...so the final results may be more enjoyable if the juice you choose is sweeter than it is tart. But ultimately, it's up to you and your tastebuds!
  • Coconut Water. I have to reluctantly admit that I don't care for coconut water on its own. I wish I did, because I know it's good for you (and I adore most things coconut), but coconut water just doesn't float my boat. That being said, it's a natural way to replenish electrolytes and it's full of potassium and magnesium. However, since it's low in sodium and carbs, the next couple of ingredients are important to this recipe as well.

Aerial view of pitcher and glasses.

  • RealSalt. Yes, I'm giving you a specific brand here, and I can't recommend it highly enough. I buy RealSalt at my regular grocery store and use it in all of my cooking and baking, as well as in our family's shaker of table salt. It is unrefined and full of natural minerals. And because of that, it is the perfect addition to this homemade sports drink (though, if you prefer, another brand of sea salt may be used in place of my beloved RealSalt).
  • Honey. Most store-bought sports drinks contain a processed form of sugar to provide energy and to add (quite a bit of) sweetness. Honey contains natural sugar and it sweetens beautifully.
  • Lemon or Lime Juice. This is optional, but I like adding just a few teaspoons of fresh lemon or lime juice to my homemade sports drink, depending on which one better complements the flavor of the fruit juice I choose. I think the citrus adds a slight zing and nicely masks any subtle saltiness, but again, you may leave it out if you feel so inclined. If you wish to use bottled lemon or lime juice, just check the label first...you don't want to add processed junk to your All-Natural Sports Drink without realizing it! I keep bottles of organic 100% lemon and lime juices in my fridge for convenience sake (I find it at Whole Foods) when I'm out of lemons and limes.
  • Water. Because, hydration.

And that's all, folks!

Close-up of glass with ice.

How to Make Homemade Gatorade

Just mix everything up and adjust any ingredients to taste.

This drink is not going to be as sweet as commercially produced sports drinks, so feel free to add an extra cup of fruit juice or an additional tablespoon of honey if that helps you and/or your family acclimate to this all-natural alternative.

And remember to experiment with your fruit juice flavors! Your crew may find that they have a favorite.

Pitcher of Homemade Gatorade with glasses in background.

So in a couple of weeks, when my boys ask if they can take Gatorade to their flag football games, I'm going to sweetly smile and say, "Sure thing, sweetheart!" And then I'm going to fill their water bottles with my Homemade, All-Natural Sports Drink and feel pleased as punch when their tongues don't turn neon blue. 😉

More Refreshing Drinks

Three glasses of Homemade Gatorade with ice.

Homemade, All-Natural Sports Drink with Electrolytes {Copycat Gatorade}

Quench your thirst, hydrate your body, and replenish electrolytes with this easy-to-make Homemade, All-Natural Sports Drink...without the processed ingredients, artificial sweeteners, and food dye found in store-bought Gatorade!
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 (8-ounce) servings (2 quarts total)
Calories: 48kcal
Print Pin Rate


  • 3 cups 100% pure coconut water
  • 1 cup 100% fruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, such as RealSalt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon or lime juice, optional


  • In a 2-quart pitcher, combine the coconut water and fruit juice. Stir in the honey and sea salt until completely dissolved. Stir in the water and add the lemon or lime juice, to taste, if desired. Serve chilled.



  • This homemade sport drink has a mild fruit flavor, and it is not as sweet as Gatorade or other store-bought sports drinks. If you prefer a sweeter drink, you may adjust the sweetness to taste (after combining all of the ingredients) by gradually stirring in additional fruit juice (up to 1 cup) and/or honey (up to 1 tablespoon) until the flavor is to your liking.
  • To wean my kids off of overly-sweet store-bought sports drinks, I started out making this recipe on the sweeter side (I doubled the fruit juice and added extra honey). Then I added slightly less fruit juice and honey each subsequent time I made it until I was eventually at the proportions called for in this recipe.
  • If you'd like to keep a smaller pitcher or container in the fridge, you may mix together all of the ingredients except the water. Then when you're ready to serve, fill a glass halfway with the homemade sports drink "concentrate," and then fill the remaining half of the glass with cold water.


Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 256mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!








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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    My family is sick with the flu - vomiting and high fevers. I made this to help replace electrolytes - and to my surprise - they ALL loved it. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I had to use an electrolyte drink as a base for a surgical procedure prep. The instructions said to consume 2 quarts of Gatorade and I said, "Ugh! I'm not doing that!" and then I found your recipe. Natural living is important to me, as well, and I can easily support your recipe over the horrible chemicals I didn't want to consume. Thank you for taking the time to research this and post it on your blog!

    1. This is great, I'm sure, if one is at home. If you had a recipe for a powdered version that one can throw into a sports bag for race day, that would be awesome.

  3. Thank you. I'll try this for my next batch of homemade sports drink. I have a similar recipe that uses tart cherry juice and not coconut water. I think the tart cherry juice helps with inflammation. I can't wait to make this and I'll make without water and add when serving.
    Also good job responding to the negative Nancys. So idiotic of them to respond when they're free to just scroll past what they don't like.

    Thank you.

    1. Tart cherry juice would be great in this, Richard! I hope you enjoy this recipe when you make it. And thanks for the encouraging words... 😉

  4. 5 stars
    Wow! Just made this and it is delicious! Thank you for sharing. I can taste the saltiness a little, but the I also halved the recipe, so I'm wondering if I had made it to your initial recipe if you would taste it at all. Adding fresh squeezed lemon though definitely helped. Just wondering how long it will last in the fridge? Read through some comments and your post to see if you mentioned it, but didn't seem to find it. Again, awesome recipe and highly recommend to anyone looking for a Gatorade alternative!

    1. Hi Alexandra! I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe! It never lasts very long around here, but it should be fine in the fridge for at least a week (though probably longer...I'd just take into account the expiration date of the ingredients you use to make it). Hope that helps! 🙂

  5. Love the idea of this recipe but can you taste the coconut in it at all? Neither my husband nor I care for the flavor so I'd prefer not to make it and find out we can't stand it:) I enjoy all the ideas on your blog very much!

    1. Hi Trina! Gosh, I'm not sure I can answer that. I don't mind the taste of coconut so I don't notice it in this drink, but you might be able to detect it if you dislike coconut! Maybe you could buy a small can of coconut water and experiment with making a single serving before you make a whole batch? Sorry I can't be of more help!

  6. Sounds great! The store bought ones are so sweet and this sound wonderful!! I am going to make some to keep in the fridge over the Texas summer!
    If you only have negative points to make, stroll on past the recipe. No need to comment on what should be in this recipe to make it officially gaterade as she said it’s her version of it to cut back on sugar & all the nasty stuff in the original drink. It’s open to interpretation, as I tell my daughters & grandkids a recipe is only a suggestion of ingredients. Feel free to add & remove to your taste and lifestyle! Enjoy

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Shirlieann. 🙂 I hope you enjoy this when you make it!

  7. Love this idea. Gonna try it! To those who posted negative thoughts...please move on. She is simply sharing something that works for her family.

  8. Sounds like a cool refreshing drink. But, Other than salt, you don’t have any electrolytes in your concoction. Please Don’t try to pass this off as an electrolyte drink replacement. Sure, store bought drinks are full of stuff we don’t need but you’re not doing your football players any good by feeding them this summer time fruit drink. Where’s the B12, calcium, magnesium and potassium??? In addition to sodium, These are the electrolytes that need replacement. And do some research on store bought “100%” coconut water. Check out their ingredients. Unless you’re crackin open a fresh coconut i’m staying away from it. And no I dont work for Gatorade or any other sports drink co. Just doing some research. Enjoy your day.

    1. Hi Michael. As I said in the post, I am not a doctor and I'm not forcing anyone to make and/or drink this homemade recipe instead of store-bought sports drinks. However, I actually did do a lot of research before writing this post, and I feel like I addressed all of your questions and concerns within the post. The electrolytes, potassium, and magnesium in this homemade sports drink come from the coconut water, which naturally contains more of these elements than traditional store-bought sports drinks. The coconut water that I buy is just that...coconut water with no added ingredients, so I'm not sure how that could be a bad thing. For my own family, I definitely prefer coconut water over store-bought sports drinks loaded with dyes and other artificial ingredients, and many others feel the same. The fruit juice is added to this recipe for flavor. And the RealSalt brand sea salt that I recommend using contains additional trace minerals in addition to sodium. If you are happy with your store-bought sports drinks, great! But I maintain that this is a good alternative for those who aren't.

  9. Samantha,

    Quite the contrary to a previous post I can’t wait to try this tomorrow. I loved all the ingredients and will be using it in a hydration pack ifit works out. I’ll let you know after my long run Sunday. Lastly, you can’t please everyone and some people are going to be haters. You must have a heart of gold with the reply you gave! Keep doing what you do best because it does make a difference.

  10. This is the stupidest sh*t I've ever seen, as if this is somehow more healthy than Gatorade. Your kids will love longer now? Bullsh*t.

    1. Hi, George. Wow, I hope you don't mind that I edited the curse words in your comment. And I'm sorry to have so deeply angered you with such an offensive recipe as Homemade Gatorade! Never did I say that this recipe would make my kids "love longer." But I *do* try to avoid their overindulgence in artificial food coloring and high-fructose corn syrup. But hey, to each his own! Your choice to drink Gatorade (or really, anything!) does not affect me nor anger me in the least. So carry on and have a great day! 🙂

    1. That's only if you don't have a lot of fridge space. The recipe says to combine all of the ingredients, including the water. But in the note under the recipe, I was just trying to convey that if you don't have room for a big pitcher in your refrigerator, you can combine the other ingredients in a smaller container and then add water to individual servings as you're ready to drink them. Hope that makes sense!

  11. This recipe has been a life saver. I've spent so much time outside and, although they do help me feel better on a really hot day, regular Gatorade-type drinks are way too sweet for me. I really like coconut water, so I make a barely sweet batch of this recipe and keep it in small bottles to grab from the fridge when I head out.

  12. Hey, I tried these energy drinks recipe and it works just awesome. It is far better than all those chemical flavored energy drinks in the market. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Who knew homemade gatorade was a thing?! Amazing! I haven't had one since college...(ugh, electrolyte replacement) but I do remember them being really sweet and salty at the same time. I'm not going to lie, I did love the blue flavor the best 🙂 This looks like an awesome alternative!

  14. This is such a great Sports Drink! & it's just in time for my dad's marathon training!! I'll have to make this for him!