How to Make Gatorade

Homemade Gatorade!!!!!

Homemade Gatorade

The thing about me experimenting with an idea to try to come up with a healthy alternative is that I can get super excited about the result – but then immediately question, “Will this taste as good to other people as I think it tastes? Will others who are used to the ‘real version’ think this only tastes like a so-so ‘healthy version?'” These questions were especially tricky when making a Gatorade alternative because 1) I haven’t actually sipped on any Gatorade for several years so I couldn’t even remember what it was supposed to taste like and 2) the homemade version looked so cute in my recycled juice bottles that I was going to be super disappointed if my kids didn’t like it.

It’s all about the cute bottles. Am I right?

So there I was with my “I really need my men to love this Gatorade in cute bottles” conundrum. I had the bottles nicely chilled so that they were good and frosty on the outside, enhancing their cuteness and curb appeal. Hoping for the best, I drove the bottles across town to where my entire family was working on a roof.

When I arrived, they greeted me with phrases such as, “We are so hungry, what did you bring for lunch, I hope you brought cold drinks, we are so sweaty.”

This was a perfect time to say, “I actually brought some homemade Gatorade (in cute bottles, please like them) – so that should be perfect to replenish what you need after sweating so much.”

See, my family can talk about sweat right before eating lunch and it’s not a big deal. We are a family of men (except for me) and I’ve learned to live and breathe and talk all things gross. I only brought it up here because in all fairness, Gatorade truly does give a body some of what it needs – like sugar and salt (electrolytes) – to replenish after sweating. It’s just all the other junk in Gatorade I’m trying to avoid. But enough about sweat and high fructose corn syrup.

My pickiest kid – and also the one who loves junk food more than all the others – pulled out a bottle first. I held my breath. This would be the biggest test, because if this boy liked it, they should all like it. He took a sip, said “Hmm,” then took another sip. After considering the taste for a moment he said the best sentence of all, “If I didn’t know it was homemade, I would think it was real Gatorade.” Had he not been so sweaty, I would have kissed him.

Instead I shrugged and said calmly as if it didn’t really matter to me, “REALLY, FOR REAL?! YOU REALLY THINK SO? I WAS REALLY REALLY HOPING YOU’D LIKE IT!!!!” He just kept sipping, then also dug into the cooler for some lunch, because he is a boy and doesn’t understand the importance of the cute bottle.

So make this. Use it to quench the thirst and bless the bodies of all those around you who do sports or other activities in which they need replenishing and refreshment.

How to Make Gatorade

Homemade Gatorade (adapted from recipe at Deliciously Organic)

4.6 from 5 reviews
How to Make Gatorade
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup 100% juice
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (I use Redmond)
  • 6 cups cold water
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan stir juice, honey, and sea salt over medium heat until the honey and salt dissolve. Pour mixture into 6 cups of cold water.
  2. Shake to combine.
  3. Chill mixture in the fridge until ready to serve.

Homemade Gatorade Recipe

I’m not sure about the exact math on this recipe, but I would venture a guess that it takes about 50¢ to make this (almost a half gallon). 50¢ divided by five 10-ounce bottles is 10¢ per bottle. Store-bought Gatorade costs quite a bit more than that, plus it is full of ingredients our bodies don’t need.

That, along with the cute bottles, should make you eager to try this recipe.

So tell me? How excited are you about my cute bottles??! (And sure, does the recipe make you excited too?)

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Comments

  1. Stephanie says

    What kind of juice did you use in your boy’s bottles?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I used Old Orchard 100% Berry Blend. :)

    [Reply]

    Aleathe Beddow Reply:

    Do you have an alternative to honey? I’m allergic to honey.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Regular sugar will work fine!

  2. Ashley says

    So excited about this! There are times when my guys just need a little boost beyond plain water, but I hate the junk in sports drinks. Can’t wait to try it!

    [Reply]

  3. Kimberly says

    I personally ADORE your cute bottles…because they match MINE!! And I can’t wait to try this recipe, because Gatorade is a favorite of the men in my house, too.

    [Reply]

  4. Chris says

    I have been making sports drink for years to take to track meets. I am more interested in ectrolyte content, due to the intense heat. I use red grape juice (highest in calcium and best taste with the other ingredients), light salt (to add potassium and sodium), calcium powder (from vitamin capsule), and water. I have never thought of adding honey to allow more salt alternative, but have added sucanat upon occasion when I got it too salty. I don’t have a set recipe, but just go by taste.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Thank you for the idea on where to get the potassium! Sodium is vital, but ubiquitous and easy to replenish. It’s the potassium that’s usually missing from our diets (and so vital to keeping the sodium ion channels operational). Will be trying this tonight!

    [Reply]

  5. Kristin says

    Thank you for this! I am going to try this soon, because my husband thinks that Gatorade is good for him! Despite my efforts to convince him that it’s just coloring and sugar water, with a little sodium thrown in. At least a science professor of his told him years ago that it only needs to be half strength for one to get the benefits, so he does water it down. At least there’s that…

    [Reply]

  6. Christine says

    Thank you so much for posting this wonderful recipe with cute bottles ;)
    My husband and I have been drinking a lot of Gatorade and Powerade over the last couple of weeks due to our central AC dying on us. Needless to say, it’s rather sweaty in VA without it :) and, being health conscience of the “unhealthy” in conventional sport drinks, I was loathing the process of trial and error in creating my own. So a huge, huge “Thank You!” for coming to the rescue :)

    [Reply]

  7. Katherine says

    Thank you for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it! Your bottles are super cute. I loved your comment about being a family of men. We are too with 4 boys, mine are just younger. I wonder if you can add a scoop of magnesium powder to the recipe to help with sore, crampy muscles?

    [Reply]

  8. Donna says

    My boys (21 & 22) have given a BIG thumbs up for this drink and the bottles! I used Dixie Peach from Trader Joes – yum. They buy their own sports drinks because I just will not so they are very happy to have a mom approved cost effective alternative!. They told me they will save their empty bottles…….. Hearty high-five thanks from our hot, sweaty and thirsty hard working men!

    [Reply]

  9. Lynn says

    What juice would be a good for making orange Gatorade?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    You might try pulp-free orange juice – otherwise I’m not sure what would work!

    [Reply]

    K Brunner Reply:

    Yeah, orange juice did not work for me at all and I tried it twice. It tasted like watered down OJ. My son even tried and with a loving heart asked we ‘could just buy the real stuff’. :-( I’ll try again with a berry flavored drink……perhaps that will hit the spot. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Angela Reply:

    Juicy juice has an orange tangerine flavor that has no pulp. :)

    [Reply]

  10. Sandy says

    you probably do not have this problem with a family, but I live alone. How long would be stay in the refrigerator? and could I freeze it

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I would guess it would stay good in the fridge for 3-4 weeks, and freezing should work great!

    [Reply]

  11. Kathy says

    What juice would you suggest for the lemon lime flavored Gator-ade? Thanks,

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I would try 1/2 lemon juice 1/2 lime juice to see if that makes the flavor ideal, then adjust accordingly.

    [Reply]

  12. Rachel Adams says

    Your recipes looks so easy and good. Lately my boys have discovered orange juice mixed with pure coconut water prevents leg cramps better than Gatorade/Powerade.

    [Reply]

  13. Allena says

    If you replace half the salt with potassium salt (no-sodium salt) it does even better at replacing electrolytes.

    [Reply]

    Euhill Reply:

    I would also recommend getting some magnesium chloride as well. You need sodium chloride (the highest), magnesium chloride, (the next highest), and potassium chloride (the least highest) to make a proper sports drink, Potassium chloride is very easy to find in you grocery store. It is sold as table salt replacement. Magnesium chloride is usually found in health stores such as GNC and Hi-Health (Phoenix, AZ). An even easier way to go is just get a trace mineral concentrate and add it to any beverage of your choice. It has all three minerals already in it. Once again it is usually found at GNC and Hi-Health.

    [Reply]

  14. Vicki says

    How did you get it to be colored? I used a cherry juice and it just looks like light colored water.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I used Berry Blend, which was very red. Other juices I use turn out a much lighter color. I made Grape the other day and it is SO pretty!

    [Reply]

  15. Barbara says

    My husband and children like Gatorade after karate classes & working out, but I cringe every time they use it. I talked to our doctor this week about it. He gave me Celtic Sea Salt Electrolyte powder to use.

    I showed him your recipe and he approved!!! He did mention two things: 1) good that you included the honey because the salt needs to mix with the sugar for it to work as an electrolyte drink, and 2) coconut water (even if you do 1/2 filtered & 1/2 coconut) is way better at rehydrating the body than just regular water. Great job! Thanks for sharing this easy recipe with us!!!

    [Reply]

  16. emilee b says

    Do you use frozen concentrate juice?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Typically I do make juice from concentrate because it costs less. But I make the gatorade from the juice, not the concentrate. :)

    [Reply]

  17. says

    Thank you so much for this! Yes, the bottles are adorable ;). And I’m so excited to try the recipe! We like Gatorade but I’ve recently been trying to cut back in artificial junk in our diet so this is just a perfect alternative! I’m going to sign up for your newsletter, too. Love the site!!

    [Reply]

  18. Charlotte Moore says

    Did you use frozen juice or canned? I am totally against bought Gatorade especially for children.

    [Reply]

    Vicki Reply:

    I was wondering the same thing! Thinking maybe I should have bought frozen concentrate instead of bottled juice…. :)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I usually buy frozen concentrate and make the juice myself since it is less expensive than bottled juice. But bottled juice definitely still works for this recipe. Any variety of 100% juice is good. :)

    [Reply]

  19. Coleen says

    I also make homemade pedialyte with 8 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp sea salt and 4 cups water. I had to set it in my brain so this is what I do. 1/2 of 8 =4 Every time my grandchildren throw up or have diarrhea I reach for this. You can put some lemon in it but this is so good to bring the body to homeostasis and good to add these electrolytes when sweating. I’m adding this recipe because it does work and you can just add a little salt to your gatorade to help kids recover from exercising more quickly.

    [Reply]

  20. says

    Oh my goodness!! I saw this posted on Money Saving Mom last week and shared it with a bunch of my mommy friends. They have all been waiting for me to try this and report back. I just made this and it literally tastes like Gatorade! I bought Motts for Tots, fruit punch so I could try to make the fruit punch flavored Gatorade. It even smelled like Gatorade while I was making it. :-)

    Thanks so much for the recipe! Im going to be making this ALL the time now.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yay! Thanks for sharing this with your friends too. Isn’t it amazing how it tastes like Gatorade but is soooo much healthier and less expensive!? :)

    [Reply]

  21. Angie says

    What a great recipe! I haven’t tried it yet because I need to make mine Sugar Free for health reasons (we drink G2)…do I just use the correct amount of Splenda or Sweet N Low in place of sugar (whatever the ratio is…)…do you think it wouldn’t be as good if I used this? Thanks for the input!!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Unfortunately, G2 still has sugar in it, along with sucrolose (splenda). I really try to stay away from artificial sweeteners, so for this homemade recipe, I would add stevia instead of honey. Probably 10-15 drops of liquid stevia would do it. :)

    [Reply]

    Nicole Reply:

    Agave nectar does not spike blood sugar and tastes way better that Stevia. If you are concerned about your health, do not do low calorie, sugar free or any type of artificial sweetener. They are so bad for you and make things like diabetes worse.

    [Reply]

  22. Myles says

    can you use frozen juice? or does it have to be bottle?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Either one works, as long as it is 100% juice!

    [Reply]

  23. says

    One of my medically complex children has the need for a bunch of gatorade. I found a recipe that uses green tea so that’s what I do! He *loves* it!!! Just a thought!

    [Reply]

  24. Guest says

    Not a big deal, but figured I could help people add to the recipe! First, I’d try and stick with just citrus, or any fruit you can readily juice (watermelon maybe?). Reason being is fruit juice from stores, organic or not, still has tons of sugar in it. While citrus fruits do too, it’s totally non-processed. Mainly it’s just easy to buy a bunch of them. This might erase the cost benefit, but the health benefit is huge. Honey is a good shout, another commentor also said agave nectar, also a good shout. Avoid diet-sweeteners.

    Additionally for all the electrolytes/minerals, I buy potassium tabs and magnesium tabs and crush them before dissolving them in the liquid. Could always let the squeezed fruit marinate in the mixture over night too for a more intense flavor! Good article, glad to see this stuff coming out. As much as I love me some gatorade, the health benefits are all marketing :)

    [Reply]

  25. Deb says

    Thanks for the recipe. I think a great alternative to the water and salt is to just use natural coconut water as the base and mix with real fruit juice. If you like it a bit sweeter you could add the agave. Most unflavored coconut water contains 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams sugar, 61 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and 5.45 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 mg of potassium, and 13.75 mg of sodium.

    [Reply]

  26. rosyjo says

    I’m all about cute bottles too! And with a red colored gatorade substitute? I’m pinning this!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    We like 100% juice cranberry juice blend for red. :)

    [Reply]

  27. Isaac Smith says

    I can’t wait to try this amazing recipe!!! <3

    [Reply]

    Sam Kalman Reply:

    I was thinking the same thing Isaac!!! , thank you so much for showing me this.<3<3

    [Reply]

    Isaac Smith Reply:

    I love this recipe!! <3<3<3

    [Reply]

  28. Ricky says

    Cute counter: 8

    In an article about a beverage, that number seems a bit high… 8 too high, to be precise. I will, however, try this recipe and see how it turns out, as I work in a warehouse and the temperatures have started to rise.

    [Reply]

  29. Merrilee says

    Hi Laura – I’m new to your site, and am so excited to find you and your homemade gatorade recipe. My 10 year old nephew was recently diagnosed with mono and his doctor recommended he drink gatorade (I know, don’t get me started!) as part of his recovery. I’m watching him this afternoon, so am making your recipe and praying he loves it. wish I had cute bottles like yours to put it in, but my trusty pint and quart jars are going to have to do :) Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    [Reply]

  30. Rose says

    I love this recipe it’s the easiest recipe I’ve seen and it’s way cheaper than actual Gatorade. I’m an athlete and i usually end up sharing my sports drink with my friends and they couldn’t even tell that this wasn’t real Gatorade. Thx for making me life easier with this recipe.

    [Reply]

  31. Heather says

    My daughter loves the fruit punch one, my son loves blue raspberries. Do you have any suggestions as to how to make those flavors?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    It’s hard to duplicate blue raspberry in a healthy way – though you might could try 100% Apple Raspberry juice? I believe there are 100% juice fruit punch options in the freezer section (juice concentrate). I suggest finding any 100% juice they like – then make it into Gatorade! Our favorite is 100% Cranberry Blend. :)

    [Reply]

  32. kathy says

    Is it one cup of juice concentrate? We tried it a few weeks ago with bottled Juicy Juice (don’t remember what flavor) and it tasted like super weak honey water–barely had any flavor. Today we tried it with juice concentrate and it tasted great!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I use juice, not juice concentrate. But I have found that some juices are too bland to work well. Our favorites are grape or cranberry. :)

    [Reply]

  33. Matt says

    Cute idea, but this isn’t homemade gatorade. I like the idea of fruit juice for natural color, and depending on the juice you use you might get some citric acid in there, you added your sodium chloride but you’re missing some major ingredients in there.

    Namely sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate.

    Now just adding those chemicals isn’t too natural, but plain old unsulfured blackstrap molasses has a natural version all those ingredients. So here’s what I do. 1 Cup of blackstrap molasses per quart of water. Boil the water, mix in molasses. That’s all. Let it cool then serve it on ice.

    It won’t be cute, and it’s an acquired taste, but it does everything gatorade does with 1/3rd of the sugar and none of the gross coloring or questionable scientific ingredients.

    [Reply]

  34. Dawn says

    My son and I just made this with lemon juice. No other 100 percent juice in the house currently. So easy! Will be making this instead of buying expensive Gatorade.

    [Reply]

  35. George says

    Thanks for the recipe. Can you move it to the top so it is easier to find and we don’t have to wade through the boring dialog?

    [Reply]

    kentuckylady717 Reply:

    George, you are missing out on reading the comments, as others have great ideas too….I read every word in Laura’s blog…..I do not find it boring at all….and you learn new things from her followers…take time and read it you will really enjoy it…..have a good day :)

    [Reply]

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