Refuel with Homemade Electrolyte Drinks

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on July 25, 2011

Do you remember the first time you drank Gatorade?

I do! I was at a track and field meet. After the race, my coach passed me a bottle of Gatorade and told me to drink it to avoid feeling sick.

The neon color should have been enough to raise a red flag, but I drank it anyway. 5 minutes later I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. Sugar overload! I could feel the food coloring coursing through my veins.

Fast forward 13 years and I’ve been hitting a wall on my long runs which would generally require Gatorade. What is a girl to do?

Make her own electrolyte drink, yaaaaay!

My go to electrolyte drink has:

  • Ultima replenisher
    • Loaded with all 8 electrolytes, not just salt like Gatorade [check out their comparison chart]!
    • 0 sugar, so you wont get cramping or sugar spikes
    • Vegan + gluten free
  • Coconut water
    • Has the same electrolyte balance as human blood
    • Naturally packed with more potassium than a banana
    • I carry the packets with me when I’m on the go, but you can also crack open your own coconut and use fresh water!

I combine 1/4 tsp of each powder in my two 10oz. running bottles and I’m set.

I can’t believe what a difference electrolytes can do for my running pace!

If you can’t find Ultima replenisher at your local health food store or, want to try making your electrolyte drink from 100% whole foods, try some of these combos:

Plain and Simple

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

Veggie Power

  • 1 cup vegetable juice
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • pinch stevia

Lemonade Twist

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 orange, juiced
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

For more information on Himalayan rock salt and why it’s far superior to table and sea salts; especially in an electrolyte drink, check out this post.

Happy running… and other things that make you sweat!

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

Oh I did a post about salt about a month ago. Pink himalayan in fact!

And Ive also done a post on coconut water…well many of them..and have a recipe for Nature’s Gatorade that I came up with. Really you can’t beat coconut water for rehydrating! And it tastes amazing just as is!


Kristin @ eat healthy. be happy. live well.

Thanks for sharing this! I’ve seen a couple other recipes online lately for a Gatorade replacement, but I like the different options you gave! I will definitely be looking for the Ultima stuff because I can tell in this hot weather that I need an extra boost :)



Coconut water powder? That is awesome – I’ve never seen or heard of that before. I’ll have to investigate both products online :)



Awesome! Even when I was less health-conscious I hated Gatorade. I’m marathon training now, so this post is coming at the perfect time! Thanks!


Jennifer and Jaclyn @ sketch-free vegan

I was never allowed gatorade as a kid, I would sneak to the corner store and buy some though and drink it quickly before I made it home. I don’t know why I was so rebellious….and for gatorade?!


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Wow, for gatorade? I was all about the cookies and cakes, but to each their own!


Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

I can’t tell you how much I LOVE this. I’m definitely making these for the boys. I hate the sugar in those gatorade type drinks. It horrible for you! Thanks for sharing these.


Lisa @ Healthful Sense

Looks like a perfect way to rehydrate after a workout!! So much better than the sports drinks that contain added sugar and artificial food colors/flavors!!


Holly @ The Runny Egg

I do drink Gatorade during long runs, but I water it down. I can stand the super sugary taste! I do 1/2 Gatorade, 1/2 water.

I’m interested in trying that lemonade twist though — that sounds delicious!


Aine @ Something to Chew Over

Interesting! I’ve only ever drank Gatorade when I spent a summer teaching horse-riding in the US – I never felt like it was necessary here in Ireland, no matter how much I sweat! I just refuel with a snack like cereal and milk or almond butter and an apple.


Faith @ For the Health of It

Gatorade makes me gag, but these homemade recipes look interesting – especially the veggie power one! I’lll try to track down some of that himalayan rock salt next time I’m at whole foods! I need to work on replentishing better – I know it’s gross, but I’m a salty sweater, so it’ll be good to get that level back up post-workout!


Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free

When i play tennis, I need something on the court with me during matches and tournaments. I always bring a coconut water and I found great electrolyte drops. They are so easy to use-just drop ‘em in the water! I also take himalayan salt…only I take it in capsule form…I don’t really like salt water…


Katy @ notjustacarnivore

I never knew coconut water powder existed. So exciting!



Hey! got your comment about UDI’s .. no, I haven’t tried their bagels yet, but now that you said something, I am going to have to! :)

p.s. that drink sounds great, bc Gatorade makes my stomach hurt…


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I hope you love them as much as we do! I shed a tear the first time I tried them.



I can’t get over the powdered coconut water! Where do you buy that? Great recipes, btw :)


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I know, right? I was pretty excited when I found it. I bought it at our local health food store. It’s made by these guys:



Wow this looks great and the recipes sound delicious!! Love this! :)


Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Love this idea! How does it taste? I am picky about flavor when I am running. I can’t drink Gatorade even if I wanted to – too sweet and just makes me feel sick after 1 sip. need a very watered down drink!


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

The ultima stuff is amazing. I love the taste! Lemonade is my favorite flavor by far. It’s nothing at all like gatorade. It’s not overly sweet or fake tasting.



I buy the blue monkey coconut water in small containers at Planet Organic but they’re so expensive! Thanks for sharing this….I can’t wait to try the powdered form.


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

The powder works out to be under $1 for the equivalent of a can, or a bit more in fact. I believe each packet makes 2 cups of coconut water! Enjoy :)


Kelly @ Free Spirit Food

I definitely plan on trying this stuff. I refuse to drink gatorade or put anything with artificial colors in my body, so far I’ve been using coconut water alone. Cant’ wait to try!



I’ve sworn by Ultima since high school track almost 10 years ago, but I’ve always kept it pretty plain. I really like the addition of the coconut water powder and it’s something I’ll definitely be on the lookout for.



Tracey Black

Yum! I make a similar homemade electrolyte drink with orange and lemon juice. It’s so simple and way better than conventional electrolyte drinks.


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