Homemade Gatorade: Sports Drinks on the Cheap

Photo (cc) by madaise

Sports drinks are pricey — even if you catch a sweet deal.

If you need refreshment and a boost of electrolytes, you can make it cheaply yourself. Re-creating flavors like Frost Glacier Freeze or Xtremo Tropical Intenso may be a tad challenging, but get creative with your flavorings and you might mix up something that tastes even better.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am ironically sipping on a Propel Zero Sport as I type this. I dropped two bucks on the bottle — on sale. At least one of the following recipes would have only cost me about 10 cents for a similar orange-flavored drink.

Depending on the recipe you choose, the DIY beverages can also contain much less sugar and sweeteners. The base for all of the homemade mixtures is water but the ingredients vary from there.

One of the simplest recipes calls for items you probably already have handy. Runners Feed‘s recipe for homemade Gatorade has close to the same nutritional profile as the much more costly commercial drink. It has about 60 calories per 8-ounce serving and about 110 milligrams of sodium.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • ¼ cup orange juice (not from concentrate)
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 cups cold water

The directions are simple and the whole process should take less than five minutes.

  • Put the salt and sugar in the bottom of a pitcher and cover with hot water to dissolve.
  • Add the juices and cold water.
  • Chill in the refrigerator.
  • Voila, homemade Gatorade.

Another recipe is featured by Wellness Mama. This one gives you the option to substitute the water with herbal tea or coconut water. The main ingredients you need are a quart of slightly warmed liquid and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Wellness Mama suggests the use of Himalayan sea salt because it has more trace minerals than regular table salt.

Everything else is optional in this recipe: Add 1/4 cup of juice (lemon, lime, grape, apple, pineapple, etc.) if you like. Prefer a sweeter drink? Add a tablespoon or two of sweetener such as honey or stevia.

Mix your chosen ingredients and store the drink in the fridge.

If you’d prefer a powder mix, the Los Angeles Times suggests this recipe. It costs about 10 cents per 24-ounce bottle.

The ingredient list includes maltodextrin, a complex carbohydrate derived from corn. It can be found at vitamin and supplement stores or online at places like Amazon. Here’s one option for 8 pounds of the powder for $23 or 18 cents per ounce.

  • 900 grams of maltodextrin powder
  • 80 grams of sugar
  • 5 grams of salt. This recipe calls for Morton Lite Salt due to its additional potassium.

It also suggests using a digital scale for accurate measurements.

Add a packet or two of Kool-Aid for added flavor. “If you like, you can just leave out the Kool-Aid for a more neutral taste. Don’t expect the mixture to taste like a commercial sports drink, which typically has much more sugar added,” says the Times.

This will make about 2.2 pounds of drink powder — enough for 17 drinks. Combine two 29-gram scoops of the powder with 24 ounces of water. Each serving has about 200 calories.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Countries Where You Can Retire on $2,000 a Month or Less
5 Countries Where You Can Retire on $2,000 a Month or Less

These tips on retiring overseas come from someone who’s been helping American expats for decades.

Have You Heard of This Best Place to Retire in 2020?
Have You Heard of This Best Place to Retire in 2020?

The best place to retire in America is one you likely are not familiar with.

11 Home Upgrades With the Best Payback in 2020
11 Home Upgrades With the Best Payback in 2020

The home remodeling projects that deliver the best bang for the buck tend to have one thing in common.

7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You
7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You

How many of these costly online shopping missteps are you making without realizing it?

Avoiding These 5 Foods Could Save Your Vision as You Age
Avoiding These 5 Foods Could Save Your Vision as You Age

Millions of Americans may be able to prevent an incurable cause of blindness by making a basic change.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.