Homemade Citrus Electrolyte Drink – Great for Colds, Flu, Stomach Flu and Rehydration After Sports

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Homemade Electrolyte Drink - Natural Sports Drink #health #homemade #recipe - DontMesswithMama.com

I love my homemade electrolyte drink. It’s refreshing and rehydrating. And there’s NO artificial junk in it. Why did I decide to make my own electrolyte recipe? My 8-year-old son was sick.

Up until recently, he got the stomach flu every few months due to inflammation in his colon (read more about our experience), which we were able to heal with colostrom and probiotic supplement, IgG supplement, gluten-free diet and fermented cod liver oil. It’s been nearly 9 months since he’s had the stomach flu, so I was surprised when he got it.

We’ve got the routine down. BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce and gluten-free toast) diet and an electrolyte drink, usually Pedialyte. But when I began really looking at the label, I was horrified to find so many harmful ingredients – such as artificial colors and flavors. That’s when I decided to make my own homemade electrolyte drink.

What’s in Typical Electrolyte Drinks?

The strawberry-flavored Pedialyte one-liter container has the following ingredients: Water, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Natural Flavor, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Zinc Gluconate, Red 40 and Blue 1.

We’ve tried the unflavored version and it was so horrid that my son wouldn’t even drink it. Plus, I was bothered that it still contained chemicals that I didn’t want my son to ingest. And sports drinks like Gatorade contain other harmful ingredients such as brominated vegetable oils along with refined sugars and artificial colors.

What Are Electrolytes and Why Do We Need Them?

In a nutshell, electrolytes are basically salts – specifically the ions in salt. According to Discovery Health, “electrolytes are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells.”

Furthermore, when kids get the stomach flu or have diarrhea or vomiting, they lose electrolytes and need to replenish them. The same goes for kids (and adults) who exercise a lot – they lose electrolytes (specifically sodium and potassium) through sweat.1

The major electrolytes in the body include: sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, phosphate and sulfate.2

How to Make Your Own Homemade Electrolyte Drink

I wanted a natural homemade electrolyte drink to increase my son’s hydration. Salt is a key ingredient in getting electrolytes into the body. I adapted this simple recipe from Mother Nature Network and loved that I could use ingredients that I use everyday from my kitchen. This is an ideal natural cold or stomach flu remedy and natural sports drink for kids.

I also have recipes for Homemade Electrolyte PopsiclesCold-Busting Gummy Snacks (made with black cherry and elderberries) and a Natural Homemade Sports Drink made with essential oils (for an extra immunity boost), as well as tips on how to use essential oils for colds and flu.

Homemade Electrolyte Drink Recipe


Equipment and Accessories


Put all ingredients in a blender and blend well. That’s it!

Homemade Electrolyte Drink - Natural Sports Drink #health #homemade #recipe - DontMesswithMama.com

This Homemade Electrolyte Drink post is part of Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable, Fat Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Natural Living Monday, Real Food Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Simple Lives Thursday, Green Thumb Thursday, Natural Family Friday, Unprocessed Fridays and Mostly Homemade Monday.

Footnotes: 1, 2, “What Are Electrolytes?”, Discovery Health.

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DISCLAIMER: The content on the blog Don’t Mess with Mama is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. I am not a medical professional and the information contained on this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented here. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
About Tracey Black

Hi, I’m Tracey. Welcome to Don’t Mess with Mama. Join me to stand up against junk food, processed food, and anything artificial. I’ll show you how to cook wholesome, gluten free (and grain free) meals with real food ingredients to nourish your family. Plus, learn how to get the toxins and chemicals out of your home for good with my favorite DIY and homemade recipes for beauty, personal care and cleaning products.


  1. Does the sea salt contain enough of the trace minerals to fulfill your replacement needs?

  2. Tracey,

    Just wondering if you could activate the link regarding reading more about your son’s experience with an inflamed colon. Would be very interested to read about it. Thank you!

  3. Mary Walsh says:

    Would it make sense to add some magnesium? Like Natural calm, make a small amount with boiled spring water and add it to the mixture? What about potassium?

  4. Michelle Patterson says:

    This sounds great! Going to give this a try next time I start to feel sick.

  5. We drink coconut water to replenish electrolytes. It’s full of potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and trace minerals to name a few. You could at it to this recipe for extra sweetness and nutrition!

  6. Could you replace the sea salt with Trace Minerals?

  7. How long will this last refrigerated?

    • It’s just citrus, honey and salt so I’d say at least a week. Make smaller batches to see how you like it – and actually even if you didn’t need all of it for the flu or rehydration after sports I’d say drink it anyway because it’s delicious.

      • I wonder if juice from some blood oranges would be tasty as well? Maybe mixed with regular orange juice..I think I will try it and report here to you. Thanks for the awesome tips,tricks and overall very helpful information you provide !

        • Give it a try. I bet blood orange juice would be delicious int his recipe. I do think the lemon juice has some extra nutrients that works well with this recipe.

  8. Awesome read. I knew how bad Gatorade was for you, but I didn’t think about making a healthy alternative! Thanks for posting. :D

    I found your recipe from the Village Green Network! I’m a new member there.

    • Welcome to VGN! It’s so much easier to just make your own Gatorade with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Can’t wait to check out your site.

  9. Does the honey or maple syrup have any benefit–for the purposes of this particular recipe–other than sweetening?

    • Raw honey helps to boost the immune system so it’s perfect to add to an electrolyte drink if you have a cold or flu. And both raw honey and maple syrup add sweetness to make it easier to drink for kids.

  10. Love this recipe! Need to get some oranges to make some juice, so I can make this!

  11. My son has an allergy to food dye and won’t touch the ‘unflavored’ pedialyte. This is a PERFECT solution. Thank you thank you thank you!

    • Melissa N says:

      My son is also allergic to food dyes, gets a terrible rash around the mouth and exhibits bad/sad behavior if he has an exposure. This is a great idea, thanks!!

  12. I’ve been looking to make an alternative electrolyte drink, and this recipe sounds great!

  13. It says two cups, how many oz are the cups?? And can I use organic agave?? Instead of raw honey?

  14. I am wondering how Himalayan Pink Salt compares to RealSalt. Have you used it? It is a locally produced salt here in Utah. It is mined from an ancient sea in Central Utah. I am a complete neophyte, but I believe RealSalt has a lot of different minerals. We use it all the time. Thanks for this recipe. The horrible air in Utah this time of year definitely calls for this.

  15. what about potassium?

  16. I’ve made this in advance for my kids and froze batches so all I had to do is defrost it. I also have made ice pops out of it for my kids, they love it much better than pedilyte. When my infant was sick I put it into ice cube trays and put the ice cubes in the baby Munchkin nets and let her suck on the ice cubes.

  17. I know Himalayan Pink Salt contains a few more trace minerals than Celtic, but my doctor told me that Celtic has a higher sustainability. Have you seen research to back this? I have not researched for myself yet. Thanks for your blog & info!

  18. How often and how much should i drink this? thanks

  19. Does it have to be a mason jar or just a glass container?

  20. Hi Tracey – Small Footprint Family shared your electrolyte drink recipe which I just looked at and think it’s great :-) So similar to mine (healthy minds think alike?!). I use only a very small amount of citrus juice so don’t need to add much honey. Have you tried herbal tea for flavouring instead? Whenever I have a sauna, I use chamomile tea which is very calming and is also said to promote sweating (win, win!). Like you, I think the Himalayan Rock Salt is definitely the best salt to use – so mineral-rich and tastes fantastic too! http://wp.me/p2HnHr-s6

  21. I assume that by fresh orange/lemon juice you just mean the juice squeezed right from the fruit?

  22. I just bought a citrus press…Is this how you get your fresh orange and lemon juice? I have a lot to learn!

  23. Would this be appropriate for canning? It seems like whenever I’m in need of an ORS, I have to run to the store, so it would be great to make something I could store. Maybe with some extra citric acid? I’d have to heat it – is that a problem?

    • AmyGo, all the ingredients are able to be canned, the only thing that may be not just right for canning, is that if you use fresh juices, the acid content may be low, the acid that occurs in citrus differs from one year to the nent, when you use bottled lemon juice, the acid has been stableized to 5 grains, or percent, how ever you wish to say it, at 4 table spoons per recipe, the couple added ingredients are near nil, OR you can up the acid by adding a little citric acid, or even pure ascorbic acid in powder form some where in the 1/4 to 1/2 tsp range off the top of my head. , or crush up a Vitamin C tab, and disolve in the water, amd make, I am going to try to find some of the litmus paper, and do an acid check, when I get it right, I will be canning this, no two ways about it,

  24. great recipe! It would be interesting to add a natural source of zinc to this to help battle colds…

  25. I am allergic to lemon and lime, but ok with orange and grapefruit. Would leaving out the lemon defeat the purpose? If not what could I use instead?

    • I believe lemons have more electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium), but I think substituting orange and grapefruit would be a great option. Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

  26. Just made this and it tastes really great. Using it now due to a foodpoisening and upset stomach, but will use again later for sportsdrink for sure:)

  27. This will be a great after soccer drink. Lost the salt, and a great ANYTIME drink.

    • I have mild, silent reflux, a little bit of irritation in my esophagus, would this electrolyte drink ok for me?

      • I don’t know. I suggest consulting with your doctor. The recipe is pretty basic – salt, raw honey, lemon and orange juice but to be sure I would check. Thanks!

      • Oranges are not recommended for reflux.
        I would stick to just the lemon. Add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda to your drink too.

  28. Thanks for linking up to Natural Living Monday! I am all for alternatives to products laden with chemicals and food dyes. Now I’m off to check out those electrolyte popsicles for my daughter :)

  29. This is a great idea! I’d love for you to link up to Savoring Saturdays this week! http://www.wholefoodmomonabudget.com/2014/05/savoring-saturdays-13.html

  30. Looks like a great recipe! Just as a precaution, though, If you feed this to babies less than a year old, it would probably be best to use the maple syrup rather than the honey, as honey could possibly have botulism spores that could be harmful to an infant.


  1. [...] love this recipe for homemade citrus electrolyte drink by Don’t Mess With Mama! I make a similar drink but with coconut water instead of filtered water. Check out the recipe here [...]

  2. [...] borrowed this recipe from Don’t Mess With Mama, and as she explains it, electrolytes are basically salts. When a person heavily exercises (sweats) [...]

  3. [...] could put this Homemade Citrus Electrolyte Drink in a gatorade bottle and my kids wouldn’t even know the difference.  Well, I bet it would [...]

  4. […] contains loads of chemicals you may not want (or may not want your kids drinking). Here’s a simple recipe for a tasty, natural electrolyte […]

  5. […] contains loads of chemicals you may not want (or may not want your kids drinking). Here’s a simple recipe for a tasty, natural electrolyte […]

  6. […] contains loads of chemicals you may not want (or may not want your kids drinking). Here’s a simple recipe for a tasty, natural electrolyte […]

  7. […] contains loads of chemicals you may not want (or may not want your kids drinking). Here’s a simple recipe for a tasty, natural electrolyte […]

  8. […] contains loads of chemicals you may not want (or may not want your kids drinking). Here’s a simple recipe for a tasty, natural electrolyte […]

  9. […] We’ve got the routine down. BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce and gluten-free toast) diet and an electrolyte drink, usually Pedialyte. But when I began really looking at the label, I was horrified to find so many harmful ingredients – such as artificial colors and flavors. CLICK HERE to read more.  […]

  10. […] Electrolyte Drink {most "sports drinks" are full of junk–this one isn't!) The recipe: http://dontmesswithmama.com/homemade…trolyte-drink/ Pin it for later: […]

  11. […] Homemade Citrus Electrolyte Drink from Don’t Mess with Mama […]

  12. […] because it’s easy to make your own!  Don’t Mess With Mama has a great recipe for a homemade electrolyte drink–and you probably already have the ingredients in your […]

  13. […] Homemade Citrus Electrolyte Drink from Don’t Mess With Mama […]

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