Here's a simple recipe for a homemade electrolyte drink that can help you and your family recover from colds, flu, food poisoning, breastfeeding, sports, and other physical exertion. This natural rehydration drink is delicious and easy to make using ingredients that you likely already have at home.
A better electrolyte choice that uses real food ingredients
I'm likely still breastfeeding a baby or toddler as you read this and this rehydration drink is one I frequently make to sip throughout the day over plain water or juices.
You can read this study on Electrolyte and pH changes in Human Milk for more information about why this is important.
And specialty electrolyte drinks and powders are entirely unnecessary to purchase as you can easily make this homemade electrolyte rehydration drink for your whole family.
All you need is a few simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. And the possibilities and variations are endless.
Another nourishing drink recipe of mine is my homemade vanilla custard milk. It also contains natural electrolytes and is a perfectly nutritious recovery drink that even children love.
- Water | You can use plain water or sparkling mineral water, and I personally love to use mineral water myself as it's full of more...well, minerals obviously. Mineral content will vary according to brand.
- Lemons | Organic is best as you will be using the whole lemon. I prefer Meyer lemons, but any variety works.
- Salt | Replacing salts lost in your body during illness and from sweating is crucial.
- Raw Honey or Maple Syrup | Sugars are also vital. You can use either/or or both, as they each have unique mineral properties.
- Trace Minerals (Optional) | These drops are available for purchase and contain 72+ trace minerals. It's not a bad idea to have a bottle on hand, especially for prolonged illness and fluid loss, but it is entirely optional. You can buy a bottle online here.
- Coconut Water (Optional) | Coconut water is full of natural electrolytes and having a bottle or case on hand is never a bad idea. You can buy some organic coconut water online here.
- Other Citrus Fruits (Optional) | I personally love to add orange slices, grapefruit, and lime into my rehydration drink but it is strictly optional. You can also use any citrus fruit or combination instead of lemons.
No special equipment is needed, but covered mason jars (the type with screw-on lids) are great for children to avoid big messes if anything spills. They also keep flies out in hot weather.
What Are Electrolytes?
An 'electrolyte' is an essential mineral — like sodium and potassium — which are two of the most vital electrolytes. And natural electrolytes are found in many foods.
All humans require them to function as they are essential to a number of vital bodily functions.
Electrolytes conduct electricity and spark cell processes throughout the body.
Sometimes your body gets low on these essential minerals. Like when you have a cold or flu. When you've been ill from food poisoning. When you're breastfeeding a very hungry newborn around the clock. Or when you're playing sports or even just walking and naturally sweating in the hot summer sun.
This is when you need a homemade electrolyte drink to replenish these essential minerals and rehydrate your body naturally.
See this study on the role and benefits of electrolytes in the body.
Real Foods That Replenish Electrolytes
- Unsweetened coconut water
- Fruit & Fruit Juice
- Juice your lemons and other citrus fruits, if using.
- Add all the ingredients into your bottle or jar.
- Gently stir is using sparkling mineral water, or simply shake the jar (covered) if using plain still water.
- Add a few slices of lemon or other fruits into the jar too.
Substitutions & Variations
- Add some refreshing herbs like mint or basil if desired.
- Sliced cucumber is also refreshing.
- So are berries — even frozen berries.
This rehydration drink will stay fresh for many hours or overnight refrigerated. It's nice to keep it by your bed as you recover or nurse throughout the night.
- Add all ingredients into a pitcher or empty bottle.
- Shake, stir, or gently flip the (closed) bottle around until everything mixes together.
- OPTIONALYou can add slices of lemon or other citrus fruit, sliced strawberries, or cucumber and mint to kick the taste up a notch if you wish.
- If you don't have raw honey available, use maple syrup instead. Dark maple syrup is especially full of minerals.