Recipe Collection: Electrolyte Drink (Sports Drink Replacement)

electrolyte drink

This is a recipe for electrolyte drink that I posted quite awhile back, in the middle of another post.  It’s hard for people to find, yet so commonly requested!  I decided it needs its own post.

Gatorade and other “sports drinks” are not so healthy at all.  They contain artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and other junk.  But, the premise behind them is good — sometimes we need electrolytes, in the form of salts, to rehydrate.  This is great during sporting events (if you’re participating!), or during illnesses.  Many people have said that this really helps them to turn the corner and recover from stomach viruses.  The ginger it contains is anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea, which, with the sea salt, is a powerful combination to help you feel better.

I keep the ingredients for this on hand basically all the time, and I mix up a batch if I’m ever feeling thirsty and water isn’t cutting it, or if anyone is sick, or for lots of reasons!  Fresh ginger will keep 2 – 3 weeks on the counter and a piece of it (even organic) costs around $1, so this isn’t hard to have around.  The kids consider this “lemonade” so sometimes I just make it for a treat.

Electrolyte Drink Recipe


  • 3 – 4 slices fresh ginger (needs to be fresh; dried does not have the same potency)
  • 1 c. water + extra
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. raw honey


Slice the ginger and put it in a small saucepan with water.  Since my slices were really big, I used 2.  It’s about the equivalent of 4 smaller slices.

Put it on the stove and boil for about 5 minutes, then let it sit and steep for an additional 5.

Meanwhile, juice your 1/2 lemon.  Use fresh juice if at all possible and don’t use bottled juice that contains preservatives.

Pour the hot ginger tea into a glass jar.  In this case, I’m using a quart mason jar, but I usually use a 3-c. glass tomato jar I saved.  Then, add your honey.

Add the lemon juice.

Add the sea salt.

Put a lid on it and shake it up to dissolve the honey and sea salt.

Then, add enough water or ice (or both) to make about 3 cups.  I like to add ice because I prefer mine cold.  They say that cold drinks are harder on an upset stomach, so you may want to add water and keep it warm, or at least room temperature, if you are sick.  I personally prefer mine ice cold especially if I am sick.  So go with what you prefer.

That’s it!  Drink as needed.

What’s your favorite use for homemade electrolyte drinks?

**This post has been entered into TOO Cute Tuesday.**


  1. Joanna says

    Kate, I saw this when you posted the recipe on fb awhile back, and luckily wrote it down! A few days later we got a stomach bug. My husband made some for me and that was when things finally turned around! A couple weeks later my good friend got the bug and I delivered some of this drink to her house. I wish I’d known about it while I was pregnant! It has been a lifesaver for us. And it’s so yummy that sometimes we make it just for fun. :)

  2. Rachel says

    Do you have any suggestions for a natural electrolyte drink that’s a bit more travel-friendly – maybe commercial brands that are widely available?

    I am a cyclist, and will be doing a 4 week trip this summer on the bike. I would like to use natural drinks, but wouldn’t be able to go to all the trouble that this recipe requires, since I’ll be away from home and all that.


  3. Kristy says

    Can you use kosher salt instead of sea salt? I live in a very small town and cannot find sea salt any where. The irony is my small town is a small island on the Atlantic…. I suppose I could go out a few miles, grab some water and make my own, eh?

    • Amelie says

      Order sea salt online. Prefer to use pink Himalayan or celtic sea salt. these have trace elements that your body needs and will keep you hydrated. It is pretty cheap. Or if you make a trip to a bigger town, put it on your list. Your body will thank you. I go back and forth between kosher and sea salts, but healthwise, I would highly recommend the pink and celtic. :)

  4. says

    Awesome timing, I have a sick one at home today with a stomach bug…but she LOATHES honey. If it smells like honey or looks like honey or tastes like honey, she’s out. Is the taste/smell pretty well masked in this recipe? Anyone else with picky eaters/drinkers and suggestions on what else might work if this doesn’t? She loathes coconut just as much so coconut water is not an option.

    • Kate Tietje says

      You could try maple syrup or sucanat in it instead. The honey taste would come through some, yes. Maple syrup is fine though.

      • Ali says

        Oh yay for maple syrup! Was just making my first batch now, and realized I only had maple as a sweetner. Nice to have that one confirmed :)

    • Kate Tietje says

      Hmm…a tea ball, or any sort of tea strainer, like you were doing any other loose tea. I sometimes just boil loose tea directly and strain with a fine mesh strainer.

  5. cathy says

    i hate to say im new to facebook and i am delightfully suprised. these receipes ive found so far have been something i can do. i get so tired of the same thing all the time and knowing im not eating right. most other books have so many ingredients in them its hard to be frugal.

  6. says

    I have an almost 5 week old Dwarf Hotot that was failing to thrive; I made this drink, gave her tiny sips from a straw, and as she regained enough energy to eat, I gave her plain canned pumpkin and plain greek yogurt. Still too early to tell, but she is massively improved, and she couldn’t have even eaten without the initial boost from this electrolyte drink recipe, so thank you for helping to give her a fighting chance :)

  7. says

    This is a great idea and I was hoping to be able to use it shortly when I go into labour, but unfortunately I really do not like the taste.

  8. KC says

    This looks like a good recipe and I’m interested to try it. Do you think I could also add potassium salts along with the other ingredients?

  9. says

    I just discovered, fairly recently, that I LOVE the flavor of ginger. I really need to buy some fresh stuff! Thank you for this–I’ll keep it in mind if we get a stomach bug this year!

  10. Bonnie says

    Is the honey just for sweetness or does it add to the electrolyte levels? I am supposed to avoid sweeteners (will sometimes use a bit of stevia).

  11. Cheryl Sullivan says

    I tried this recipe but I grated the ginger and didn’t boil it. It is delicious! Is it necessary to boil the ginger if I grated it? It infused very well. I strained the fibers.

  12. says

    i am bummed this didn’t work for me! not only did it give me major heartburn it made me sick to my stomach! and to be honest the taste wasn’t that great.. maybe my tastebuds are a bit off due to the flu or it was a super sour lemon.

  13. melissa says

    Kate, I just winged it and made this with ground ginger because I’m stuck at home with two sick children. My son likes it! I’m surprised! Thanks so much!

  14. fadwa davis says

    What can you do if you are salt sensitive? Regular salt breaks my lips out and im assuming kosher or sea salt would do the same. Any suggestions because I have cold right now and im wondering if this will help get energy back.

  15. Dave says

    Thank you for this post. I have been looking for a natural electrolyte replacement. I have found

    Your is natural and easy – Thanks again Dave D

  16. Hans says

    Hi Katie, great article and I cannot wait to try this.

    I’m an avid runner but I don’t like Gatorade/Powerade because they’re expensive and they have unecessary ingredients. I mostly just use an electrolyte replacement tablet from ReplaceSR and water.

    Although now it might have to be a tablet + a homemade electrolyte drink!


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