Make Your Own Sports Drinks for Kids or Adults

Last Updated on April 29, 2023 by Ellen Christian

Have you ever wondered how to make your own sports drinks? Learn how to make kids sports drinks that taste better than the popular brands at the store.

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a woman drinking from a sport bottle

Make Your Own Sports Drinks

My son has played almost every sport available in our community. Whether he’s kicking goals in soccer, tackling the opposing team in football or practicing his signature moves in wrestling, one thing he always asks for at the end of the game is a sports drink.

Sometimes as a mom, it’s easier to give in on some things and pick your battles.   I’ve been giving him money to pick up a sports drink along with some of his friends.  

As I hear more and more about the dangerous ingredients in things like Gatorade, I have decided it time to learn to make your own instead Grab one of these bottles first.

Have you ever wondered how to make your own sports drinks? Learn how to make kids sports drinks that taste better than the popular brands at the store.

What’s in kids sports drinks?

I know that sports drinks are more than just juice or water.  There is a real reason that athletes pick a sports drink after a hard work out.  They contain electrolytes.

I’m far from a scientist so this is a busy mom’s understanding of what a sports drink does.  First some basic biology. Your kidneys regulate electrolytes and fluids and make (for lack of a better word) urine.  They filter the bad stuff out of your body.  

When you’re dehydrated, your kidneys keep as much water as possible in your body and make your urine more concentrated. And, when you’re hydrated, your kidneys let out more water.

two women sitting with a sports drink after tennis

Why do we need electrolytes?

When you work out, you sweat and you lose electrolytes and fluids. One of the major electrolytes you lose is sodium. That is why your sweat tastes salty.

When you don’t have enough fluids and electrolytes, your muscles suffer and this impacts an athlete’s performance.

Sports drinks contain electrolytes (sodium) along with sugar (carbohydrates) and water.  The water and sodium go to replacing the electrolytes and fluids lost during exercise and the sugar provides a burst of energy.

From everything that I read, unless you are getting a good sustained work out in that is longer than 45 to 60 minutes, regular water works just fine to rehydrate you. More than 45-60 minutes of a good workout, make your own sports drinks.

Sports drinks were never intended to be used as a regular beverage and can result in weight gain given the amount of sugar.

citrus fruit on a blue background

Why make your own sports drinks?

Popular sports drinks contain high fructose corn syrup and artificial food dyes like red 40 and blue 1.  Learning to make your own sports drinks will allow you to eliminate these harmful ingredients.

I made an orange flavored drink since that’s one of the most popular in my house. You could easily make different flavors by juicing different fruits. For the healthiest version, start with organic, fresh fruits.

This is a great homemade sports drink for runners and kids alike.

How to make your own sports drinks

This recipe makes two drinks.  Store each in the refrigerator in a jar with a lid and shake before drinking. Use within a week. You could make a larger batch ahead of time if you want to.

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Yield: 2

Make Your Own Sports Drinks

Have you ever wondered how to make your own sports drinks? Learn how to make kids sports drinks that taste better than the popular brands at the store.

Have you ever wondered how to make your own sports drinks? Learn how to make kids sports drinks that taste better than the popular brands at the store.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime, grapefruit or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange, tangerine or Halo mandarin juice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp organic sugar or raw honey


  1. Shake all ingredients in a jar.
  2. Store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 4gSugar: 45gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

If you make this, tag me on Instagram so I can see @ellenblogs

44 thoughts on “Make Your Own Sports Drinks for Kids or Adults”

  1. What a great recipe! Hope you have a great week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Your post has been pinned with the party! Come Back Soon! Miz Helen
  2. What a great idea - and not the least, calling it a sports/olympic drink would make teens and dads more likely to keep gobbling it as fast as you can make. They might even feel up to making it all by themself!
  3. Oh my goodness. I didn't realize it was so easy to make your own sports drinks! Great to know since we're always involved in some kind of sport!
  4. This is a great idea. My kids love sports drinks but I don't buy them that often. Im always worried about how much sugar is in them.
  5. Great that there are no dyes!  We are pretty much a no-dye house and have been for almost 5 years.  
  6. Love this! I won't let my kids drink sports drinks because of the food coloring and sugar. This is wonderful! I will have to try it (especially during summer when my daughter has cheer practice on a black track in 90 degree weather). Thanks for the recipe tip!
  7. How cool!  Never thought to do this.  My sons are always begging for sport drinks and I'm always saying "no."  Will have to try making them some and see how it goes!
  8. I like this sports drink a lot better than what you can get in the store. I bet it tastes better too, but I like that it doesn't contain a ton of ingredients I can't pronounce. 
  9. Wow, that is a really good idea! My daughter just started going to the gym and is drinking so much powerade, I would prefer she had a natural drink!

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