Trainingpeaks Ambassador Christine Schirtzinger Looks Through Her Pantry For Ingredients To Make A Homemade Sports Drink

How to Make Your Own Homemade Sports Drink

BY Landry Bobo

This simple sports drink recipe cuts down on cost and unnecessary ingredients while ensuring you stay hydrated.

One of the biggest challenges for many athletes is staying fueled and hydrated during intense workouts. Sports drinks offer a convenient solution that makes both hydration and nutrition easier for athletes of all types.

But let’s face it, high-quality sports drinks can be expensive, and cheaper sports drinks often contain a bunch of nasty ingredients that you can’t feel good about. Fortunately, there is an easy way that you can make a homemade sports drink that will give you all the benefits of a commercial sports drink but will be a bit easier on your wallet and your gut.

Getting the Right Mix of Nutrients

The key to any sports drink is getting the right mixture of carbohydrates, electrolytes, and water. If the concentration of the drink is too high, it will slow absorption and can cause GI distress. Instead, you want a carbohydrate-based sports drink that has a similar concentration to the solutes within the body’s own fluid to aid in absorption. This works out to about 4-6 grams of carbs per 100 mL of fluid. 

For a 600 ml (20 fl. oz) bottle, this comes out to 24-36 grams of carbohydrates per bottle. You’ll also want to add sodium to help with absorption — about 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt per bottle should do the trick. If you know yourself to be a particularly salty sweater, you can go up to 1/4 of a teaspoon. 

There are different ways that you can get carbs into your sports drink, such as maltodextrin, sugary “juice”, or cane sugar. I prefer to use juice for a few reasons.

For starters, I like the taste best. Additionally, a store-bought juice with added sugar contains a mix of both glucose and fructose. Research has shown that when fructose is combined with glucose, it has a synergistic effect that will aid in absorption. Also, a store-bought juice may also contain some amount of potassium which will help further aid hydration. Look for a juice that contains mostly added sugars with 10-20% juice. There are many inexpensive varieties that can be found on the juice aisle of large supermarkets.

Homemade Sports Drink Recipe


  • 250 mL (8 fl. oz) of sugary juice
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • water


  • Pour juice into a 20 fl. oz bottle, fill up the rest of the bottle with water, add salt, and shake.

There you have it! An inexpensive sports drink that tastes great and doesn’t contain a bunch of dyes or chemicals. Of course, every body responds differently, so make sure to test this out in training before use in competition.

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Trainingpeaks Coach Landry Bobo
About Landry Bobo

Landry is a cycling coach with EVOQ.BIKE. He has over a decade of training experience and currently races at the elite level on the road. Landry holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and he is excited to share his experience with athletes of all ability levels. You can contact Landry at and learn more about EVOQ.BIKE at YouTubeDiscord, and the Blog.

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