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Homemade Electrolyte Drink (made with unrefined sweeteners)


It has begun. Days in the triple digits, or just under. Sweat pouring from every inch of your body when you are just standing there. Big sun hats, long-sleeves, and working in the garden early in the day.

The calendar may not agree, but here in central Texas summer seems to be upon us. We live off-grid so air conditioning is non-existent and fans are minimal. So we find old-fashioned ways of staying cool and hydrated.

I made this homemade gatorade the other day for a community gathering. After a 99 degree day spent working, it seemed like just the right thing to do.

It is incredibly important in this heat to maintain your electrolytes and not just drink water. We eat more unrefined sea salt, pay close attention to consuming potassium-rich foods like potatoes, zucchini, avocados, coconut water, and bananas. And now for the rest of this summer I’ll be making this slightly-sweetened homemade electrolyte drink regularly.


The dark color of this refreshing drink comes from the deep caramel color of the coconut sugar. Using white sugar would give it the look of common lemon-lime sports drinks.

Don’t worry about sticking too strictly to the juices here. When making it, I use what we have on hand. Sometimes that’s just lemon juice and a bit more sweetener. Always, always use the salt, though, for good hydration.

Print Recipe

Homemade Electrolyte Drink (made with unrefined sweeteners)

Course: Beverages

Serves: 8


  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar or other sweetener of choice
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine-grained sea salt
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • enough water to make one gallon


  1. Add coconut sugar and sea salt to a gallon-sized container. Heat up a couple of cups of water and add to sugar. Stir well to dissolve. Add orange juice and lemon juice and stir to combine. Top up the container with water to make one gallon.
  2. Serve chilled.

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  Leave a Reply

  • Shayne – I don’t know that I would even hazard a guess as I’m sure it depends on your size, individual needs, etc.

    I can say that my husband and I could each drink a quart of this on a hot, sweaty day when we’ve been doing farm chores and sweating a lot. I also tend to water mine down a lot by adding a lot of ice, so I might drink 1/8 – 1/4 of this recipe on the more desperate days. :)

    Shannon @ Nourishing Days July 11, 2013 AT 6:09 pm
  • I get really painful lower leg cramps when running and at the start of a workout. My doctor suggested an electrolyte water. How many ounces do you suggest drinking and how often?


    Shayne July 8, 2013 AT 11:20 am
  • This is exactly what I’ve been looking for, but what about adding some whey to get the benefits of being fermented also?

    Courtney June 29, 2013 AT 4:26 pm
  • This sounds great – one question, however. What made you pick coconut sugar versus stevia?

    kathi June 17, 2013 AT 6:43 pm
  • Can you make this with any flavor juice?

    Kimberly June 16, 2013 AT 10:09 am
  • what makes this an electrolyte replacement vs. a large glass of sugar?

    Melanie June 13, 2013 AT 11:57 am
    • Melanie – Citrus juices contain potassium and other ions that help the body to rehydrate or stay hydrated. The salt replenishes the sodium that we can lose too much of during perspiration, and also counterbalances the other electrolytes provided by the fruit juice.

      Many argue that a natural sweetener, because of the glucose available, also help your body recover from excessive sweating or energy output.

      Shannon June 17, 2013 AT 9:24 am

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