Make your own sports drink

I refuse to buy sports drinks for my kids. They think I'm a horrible mom for this and give me all kinds of arguments to buy them. They're convinced that sports drinks will make them faster runners and better soccer players. They relay back to me all the times I've told them how important it is to stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and yelling to them as they head out the door "Do you have your water bottle?!" So, I pointed out to them that I never ask "Do you have your sports drink?"    I know they need plenty of fluid throughout the day and even more when they're active. However, the fluid they need is water, not some overpriced, highly marketed, sugar loaded beverage.

Yes, I know that sports drinks contain fluid, carbohydrate, sodium and potassium and that these are important to get after exercise to replace losses during exercise. But, unless your workouts are really intense and really long (i.e. you're a professional or Olympic athlete) all you need is water and a small snack. Even children who play at a rep or competitive level of sport likely don't need a sports drink after the game because they're not going steady for 60 minutes or more.

That said, sports drink beverages are tasty so they may encourage your child to drink more. I still won't buy them because I don't think they're necessary and I don't like spending the money on them. What I will do is make my own version of a sports drink and this has satisfied my kids. Here's the recipe. It's really easy so even kids can make it.


  •  Orange juice
  • Water
  • Salt

What you do:

Measure 2 cups water and add to a pitcher.

Measure 2 cups orange juice and add to pitcher.

Add 1/4 tsp salt to the water/oj mixture.
Give it all a good stir.

Pour into a water bottled filled with ice.

Enjoy after your workout or game.

If there is any leftover sports drink, I'll often freeze it in ice cube trays and the kids pop the 'sports drink cubes' into their water bottle for school.

There are plenty of recipes for making your own sports drink. Simply 'google' How to make your own sports drinks and you'll find all kinds of different versions.

Enjoy hydrating your young athlete and saving money at the same time by making your own sports drink!
                                                                                                                        Michele, RD


  1. Love this Michele.....I will be sure to start sending this along with my boys to all their games and activities!

    Jaclyn Dietz

  2. Wondering if this is sufficient for endurance athletes (marathon walkers) who are out for lengthy periods of time? I'm also disturbed by sports drinks and other sports type of food as I find it overly sweet and full of additives. I'm anxious to find more natural sources of hydration/nutrition during lengthy training sessions...some that are easy to carry and ingest on a stomach that doesn't want to take in too much bulk.

    1. Hello susayoun
      Thank you for your question. We are not experts in sports nutrition for endurance athletes. We would recommend you connect with a dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition or connect with Eatright Ontario or 1-877-510-5102.
      Shannon RD


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