Homemade Electrolyte Drink fi

Homemade Electrolyte Drink - KÜHL’s Guide to DIY Beverage

By Emily Leikam on September 25, 2023
13 min read

Homemade electrolyte drinks are the unsung hero of today's fitness-conscious and health-centric society. These DIY drinks can deliver much-needed minerals and hydration right when your body needs them the most. Be it an intense workout session, a strenuous hike or just a way to beat the summer heat, these homemade beverages will come to your rescue every time. 

And while it's true that you’ll save on the cost of commercial sports drinks, the real advantage lies in the power of personalization. You control what goes into your drink – avoiding the high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and preservatives often found in store-bought drinks. You can adjust the sweetness, choose your favorite natural flavors and ensure it's made with real, pronounceable ingredients.

Creating and drinking your own homemade electrolyte drink can contribute to improved health, enhanced performance and a better understanding of what your body needs to thrive. This guide aims to be your companion on that journey, offering useful information, mouthwatering recipes and a whole lot of encouragement. Let's raise a glass (filled with homemade electrolyte drink, of course) to that!

Key Takeaways

  • Making a homemade electrolyte drink is economical and health-friendly.
  • Electrolyte drinks replenish your body with essential minerals.
  • The best time to consume electrolyte drinks is after a workout or when ill.
  • Homemade electrolyte drinks can be healthier and more customizable than store-bought options.
  • You can make your homemade electrolyte drink exciting by varying the ingredients and recipes.
Electrolyte Drink 0
Products shown: W's The One™ Hoody and M's The One™ Jacket.

Homemade Electrolyte Drinks – What Are They?

A homemade electrolyte drink is a beverage you can make in your own kitchen using water, salts and often some form of sugar for taste. It's typically consumed to replenish the body's electrolyte balance. It's a refreshing and rejuvenating natural energy drink that keeps you hydrated and supplies essential minerals your body needs, especially after a rigorous workout or during hot weather.

What is an Electrolyte Drink Anyway?

An electrolyte drink is a commercially or homemade prepared drink that contains essential minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. These minerals help regulate the balance of fluids in your body, maintain a healthy pH level and support muscle contractions and nerve signaling.

Hold Up, What Are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are tiny powerhouses that carry an electric charge and are vital for numerous functions in our bodies. The primary role of electrolytes involves maintaining water balance. Imagine having a big glass of water. It's the electrolytes that decide how much of that water gets absorbed and how much gets passed out. They are the maestros conducting the movement of fluids in and out of cells and across cell membranes, all in the name of balance.

But the job of electrolytes doesn't stop there. They're also crucial for nerve signaling. Our nervous system communicates through electrical signals and, you guessed it, electrolytes help carry these signals from one cell to another. And if you've ever wondered why your muscles contract and relax without you consciously thinking about it, well, you can thank electrolytes for that too. They facilitate muscle contractions, including the most important one – your heart!

Electrolytes also play a role in maintaining the pH balance in your body. This means they help keep your blood from becoming too acidic or too alkaline, which is crucial for your cells and organs to function optimally. Among these charged minerals, key players are sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride and phosphate. Each has its own special role in your body, and an imbalance in any of these can lead to issues like dehydration, muscle weakness and irregular heartbeat.

So next time you take a sip of your homemade electrolyte drink, know that you're not just quenching your thirst, you're also helping these unsung heroes do their job effectively in your body.

Now that you know how to make electrolyte water, let’s see…

What Are the Benefits of Electrolyte Drinks?

Drinking a glass of water quenches your thirst, no doubt about it. But an electrolyte drink? That does so much more. Beyond simple hydration, electrolyte drinks serve as a refreshing fuel for your body while replenishing crucial minerals, aiding muscle function and supporting overall health.

You know that feeling when you hit the gym or go for a long hike and you're just wiped out? That's your body losing electrolytes through sweat. One of the primary benefits of electrolyte drinks is their power to replace these lost minerals during physical activities. Sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium – they're all crucial for muscle function, and an electrolyte drink puts these right back where they belong.

Speaking of physical activities, we've all experienced that dreadful sensation of a muscle cramp at least once. It's like your body is throwing a tantrum, and it can halt your workout in its tracks. The good news is that electrolyte drinks can help. They promote muscle relaxation and can aid in reducing the occurrence of muscle cramps, so you can keep doing what you love, pain-free.

Did you know that your heart, that tireless muscle thumping away in your chest, also relies on electrolytes? Electrolytes like potassium and calcium play a significant role in maintaining a healthy heartbeat. So, each sip of your homemade electrolyte drink is like a 'thank you' note to your heart.

The best part of homemade electrolyte drinks? They're customizable! You can tweak any recipe according to your nutritional needs and taste buds. Want it sweeter? Add a bit of raw honey. Need more Vitamin C? Squeeze in some more citrus. The power to make the drink that your body needs and your taste buds crave is in your hands.

hand holding electrolyte powder
Homemade electrolyte powder. Photo by: Anastasiia.

When is the Best Time to Have Electrolyte Drinks?

The best time to have an electrolyte drink is during or after strenuous activities that cause heavy sweating, like after a tough workout or even after a session in the sauna.

Not only will electrolytes be there for you after a grueling sweat, they can also be a helpful companion during illnesses like the flu or other situations where you're at risk of dehydration. They help replace lost fluids and minerals and aid in faster recovery.

Electrolyte drinks can also be a great addition to your daily hydration routine. Think about those hot summer days when the sun seems to drain all the energy out of you. A cold, refreshing homemade electrolyte drink can be the perfect pick-me-up, replenishing your electrolytes, quenching your thirst, and cooling you down. Plus, it's an excellent way to break the monotony of plain water. Now that you know how to recover from long hiking, let’s answer the question:

Is Homemade Better Than Store-Bought?

When it comes to choosing between homemade and store-bought electrolyte drinks, going the homemade route has plenty of advantages.

Store-bought electrolyte drinks, especially the renowned brands, often come with a hefty price tag. Over time, these costs can add up. On the other hand, whipping up a homemade version is far more cost-effective. The ingredients you need are generally kitchen staples like water, salt and a form of sugar. If you want to get fancy, you can add some fruit juice. Making your own drink can cut down the cost significantly.

Secondly, we've all heard the saying, "If you can't pronounce it, don't eat it." Well, that applies to drinks too! Store-bought electrolyte drinks are often loaded with preservatives, artificial flavors and colors that do more harm than good. When you make your own, you know exactly what's going into your drink – no mysterious ingredients or unpronounceable additives.

The sugar content in store-bought versions can also be alarmingly high. Yes, some sugar is essential in an electrolyte drink for quick energy, but many commercial options take it overboard. At home, you have control over the sugar levels. You can even experiment with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, reducing the need for refined sugars.

Lastly, making your own electrolyte drink is like having an empty canvas to an artist. You can play around with flavors, making every sip a new experience. Love the tangy punch of lemon? Go for it. Want a tropical twist with some coconut water? Why not! The possibilities are endless.

In short, going homemade means choosing cost-savings, flexibility, transparency and health over convenience. And that's a choice we can stand behind.

Adventure man pouring Hydration Electrolyte Powder in water bottle
Photo by: Anastasia.

How To Make Your Own Electrolyte Drink at Home

Creating your own electrolyte drink or “homemade gatorade” is easy and so much better for you than any store-bought brand. It's ideal for any form of activity where you need to stay hydrated and energized. Not to mention it makes an excellent menu addition to your food for hiking. Best of all, the prep time is minimal, but the payoff is huge! 

Below are five easy recipes you can try at home. There’s something for everyone, from tart and zingy to tropical and fresh. They’re all made with good-for-you ingredients, naturally gluten free and, depending on the sweetener used, vegan. Let's start by learning how to make your own electrolyte powder:

Basic DIY Electrolyte Powder Mixture

Homemade electrolyte powders can be awesome alternatives to the store-bought stuff, especially if you want to customize the flavor or know exactly what's going into your body. So, let's get down to business. To make your own electrolyte powder, you'll need just a few simple ingredients. Here's a basic recipe:


  • Salt: 1 teaspoon (regular table salt or sea salt will do the trick)
  • Potassium chloride: 1/2 teaspoon (you can find this at some health food stores or online)
  • Magnesium citrate powder: 1/4 teaspoon (again, health food stores or online retailers should carry this)
  • Sugar or a sugar substitute: 2 tablespoons (this helps with flavor and energy, but it's optional)
  • Citric acid: 1/2 teaspoon (for a little tanginess)


  1. Mix the Salts Together: Grab a bowl and mix together the salt, potassium chloride, and magnesium citrate powder.
  2. Add the Sweet Stuff: If you're using sugar or a sugar substitute, toss that in next.
  3. Add Some Tang: Mix in the citric acid if you want that citrusy kick.
  4. Blend It Up (Optional): To ensure everything's mixed thoroughly, you can put the mixture in a blender or a food processor for a few seconds.
  5. Store It Right: Put your new electrolyte powder in an airtight container, and it'll be ready for action whenever you need it.
  6. Usage: To turn the powder into a drink, just mix about a teaspoon of it into a glass of water. Taste and adjust as needed, depending on your preferences.

A quick note of caution: The measurements above are a general guideline, everyone's needs and tastes can vary. Always pay attention to how your body responds, and consult with a healthcare professional if you have specific dietary needs or concerns.

Recipe: Lemon-Lime Electrolyte Zinger


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups fresh water
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup (adjust according to your taste)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Squeeze the juice from fresh lemons and limes.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large pitcher and stir until the honey and salt dissolve completely.
  3. Taste and adjust the sweetener if needed.
  4. Chill in the fridge and enjoy it cold for a refreshing taste.

Recipe: Tropical Coconut Delight


  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large pitcher.
  2. Taste and adjust the sweetener or orange juice for a sweeter or tangier taste.
  3. Chill in the fridge for a while and enjoy.
Electrolyte Drink 3
Photo by: Milo McDowell.

Recipe: Berry Infused Bliss


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh mixed berries (like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a large pitcher and mix well.
  2. Allow the berries to infuse into the water for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  3. Taste and adjust the sweetener or lemon juice as per your preference.
  4. Chill in the fridge before serving.
  5. Eat berries after you drink the water.

Recipe: Citrus Energy Boost


  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large pitcher.
  2. Stir until the salt and sweetener dissolve completely.
  3. Taste and adjust the sweetener or juices according to your preference.
  4. Refrigerate before serving.

Recipe: Hydrating Cucumber Mint Cooler


  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sweetener (optional)

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Blend cucumber and mint leaves in a blender until smooth.
  2. Strain the juice into a pitcher, pressing to extract as much juice as possible.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pitcher and stir.
  4. Taste and adjust the sweetener or lemon juice as per your preference.
  5. Chill in the fridge before serving.

There you have it – five delicious, refreshing and easy to make homemade electrolyte drink recipes! Remember, these are just guides. Feel free to experiment and find what works best for you. Enjoy the process and savor the results!

water in a glass and Himalayan salt isolated on white background
Photo by: juliamikhaylova.

Can I Use Sweeteners in My DIY Electrolyte Drink?

Absolutely! Natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, agave or stevia can add flavor to your homemade electrolyte drink. Not only do they make your drink tastier, but they also contribute additional nutritional benefits, such as antioxidants from honey and minerals from maple syrup. 

If you're following a plant-based diet, you'll be glad to know that you can create a fully vegan electrolyte drink, complementing your camping vegan lifestyle.

What Are Some Other Electrolyte-Rich Foods?

Since our bodies do not make minerals or electrolytes, we need to get them from our diet. Beyond drinks, many foods can help replenish electrolytes. Bananas, avocados and sweet potatoes are high in potassium, while dairy products and leafy green vegetables can provide calcium. Almonds and cashews are excellent sources of magnesium. 

Who Are Homemade Electrolyte Drinks Good for?

Homemade electrolyte drinks are beneficial for athletes, people who work out regularly, those recovering from illness and individuals who spend a lot of time in hot environments. They're also great for people looking for a natural, healthier alternative to a commercial sports drink. For example, adding an electrolyte drink to your camping food plan ensures that you stay hydrated during your adventures. 

Homemade electrolyte drinks are also perfect for those concerned with knowing exactly what goes into their bodies. You can be sure it’s gluten-free and vegan, if needed. You can control the carb level. And you can keep it free from preservatives and artificial colors. 

5 Tips to Keep Your Homemade Electrolyte Drink Fresh and Exciting!

  1. Experiment with Different Fruits: Citrus fruits are great, but also consider berries, melon or tropical fruits.
  2. Try Herbal Twists: Add herbs like mint or basil for an interesting flavor profile.
  3. Spice it Up: A pinch of spices like ginger or turmeric can add a warming note, not to mention health benefits.
  4. Switch Up Your Salts: Different salts, such as pink Himalayan or sea salt, can add different minerals. Himalayan salt contains electrolytes naturally as well as trace minerals that help nourish cells in your body.
  5. Get Fizzy: Add a splash of carbonated water for a fizzy electrolyte drink!
Electrolyte Drink3
Natural Sport Beverage. Photo by: Zakiroff.

Final Thoughts

Making a homemade electrolyte drink is not only an easy and cost-effective way to replenish your body’s lost minerals, but it also contributes to your overall health and is a great immunity boost drink. Whether you’re an athlete, a fitness enthusiast or someone who simply values a healthy lifestyle, these drinks are a worthy addition to your hydration routine.

Featured image by: Geografika.


What drink has the most electrolytes?

Coconut water is often considered a drink with high electrolyte content. It's naturally rich in essential electrolytes, especially potassium and magnesium. While not a substitute for some sports drinks during high-intensity workouts due to its low sodium content, it's an excellent everyday hydration choice.

What are 4 strong electrolytes?

Four strong electrolytes crucial for body functioning are sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Sodium and potassium regulate fluid balance and nerve signal transmission. Calcium is vital for bone health and muscle function. Magnesium supports muscle contractions, nerve function and energy production.

What is the richest source of electrolytes?

The richest sources of electrolytes are found in various foods and drinks. For potassium, opt for bananas and avocados. Citrus fruits and strawberries offer vitamin C and various electrolytes. Coconut water is a natural electrolyte powerhouse. Leafy greens, sweet potatoes, nuts, dairy products and tofu provide magnesium and calcium. Sodium is readily available in table and sea salt.

Can I drink electrolyte water every day?

Yes, drinking electrolyte water every day can be beneficial, especially if you're engaging in intense physical activities, spending time in hot weather or are prone to dehydration. It helps replace the much-needed trace minerals in your body. However, it's important to balance electrolyte intake with your body's needs to avoid overconsumption.

What are symptoms of low electrolytes?

Low electrolyte levels, or electrolyte imbalance, can manifest in several ways. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle cramping or spasms, irregular heartbeat, confusion, headaches, numbness, and changes in blood pressure. Severe electrolyte imbalance can have serious health consequences and requires immediate medical attention.

Emily Leikam
Emily Leikam

Emily is an avid traveler and has been all around the world from Alaska and Iceland to Peru and Bali. Her home base is Nashville, TN and when not traveling you can find her hiking, practicing yoga or cooking/baking!


Get all the news right in your mail