The Best Homemade Sports Drink (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)

5 minute read

This delicious all natural homemade sports drink is awesome at supporting your workouts, activities, and hydration while supporting your gut health too! I selected key ingredients in this recipe to help you feel and be your best everyday! Stop wasting money on store bought sports drinks filled with coloring and preservatives and find The Best Homemade Sports Drink!

Why Local Honey?

Is there a difference in the commercial honey you find at stores like Costco compared to the local honey you find at your local Co-Op or farmer’s market?  YES there is!  If you can, buy and eat local honey and here’s why [1].

Local honey supports your immune system and allergies since local honey is made from the pollen of the flowers and plants in your area. Your local honey is unpasteurized and raw, which keeps the health and nutritional benefits of the honey intact.

Supporting your community buy purchasing local honey keeps your honey bees in your area and supports your local beekeepers! Many brands of commercial honey you find in stores are not pure and are often diluted with and contain corn syrup or other inflammatory sweeteners. 

Why a Homemade Sports Drink?

There are several reasons why I don’t consume drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, Body Armor, and Vitamin Water, to name a few.  First, let’s take a look at the ingredients:

Gatorade Fruit Punch

Water, Sugar, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Monopotassium Phosphate, Modified Food Starch, Natural Flavor, Glycerol Ester Of Rosin, Red 40, Caramel Color [1].

Powerade Fruit Punch

Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Less Than 0.5% Of: Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Electrolytes (Salt, Mono-Potassium Phosphate, Magnesium And Calcium Chlorides), Modified Food Starch, Glycerol Ester Of Rosin, Calcium Disodium Edta (To Protect Color), Mct, Vitamins B3, B6, B12 (Niacinamide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cyanocobalamin), Red 40, Ascorbic Acid (To Protect Taste) [2].

Body Armor Fruit Punch

Filtered Water, Pure Cane Sugar, Coconut Water Concentrate, Citric Acid, Dipotassium Phosphate (Electrolyte), Vegetable Juice Concentrate (Color), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Magnesium Oxide (Electrolyte), Calcium D-Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Natural Fruit Punch Flavor with Other Natural Flavors, alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Zinc Oxide (Electrolyte), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin A Palmitate (Vitamin A), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12) [3].

Vitamin Water Fruit Punch

Reverse Osmosis Water, Crystalline Fructose, Cane Sugar, Less than 1 % of: Potassium Phosphate (Electrolyte), Natural Flavor, Citric Add, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Fruit and Vegetable Juice (Color), Magnesium Lactate (Electrolyte), Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), Vitamin B5 (Calcium Pantothenate), Calcium Lactate (Electrolyte), Gum Acacia, Glycerol Ester of Rosin, Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B12 [4].

Why I’m not a fan…

  • One of the very first ingredients in ALL of these drinks is refined sugar, which has no nutritional value, is highly inflammatory, and excess consumption can lead to chronic symptoms or disease.
  • Second, both Gatorade and Powerade contain “modified food starch” which is made of ultra processed corn, wheat, or potatoes, which is inflammatory and in my opinion, has no business in a drink meant to replace electrolytes.
  • Third, most of these contain chemical additives such as food coloring, preservatives, and synthetic vitamins, all of which are unnatural, inflammatory, and are toxins.

Why I Chose the Ingredients I did…

  • Pure Lemon Juice: It tastes great, adds vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant), supports detoxification, helps with removing excess lactic acid, and encourages you to drink more and stay hydrated [5].
  • Beet Juice Powder: It has been shown to improve athletic performance by increasing nitric oxide in the blood, is a great source of potassium (beet greens are some of the richest sources of potassium), is loaded with antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory [6].
  • Pomegranate Powder: Aside from all it’s amazing health benefits, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, pomegranates contain a compound called ellagic acid. This specific compound feeds a specific microbe in your gut [7], Akkermansia muciniphila, which colonizes the mucosal lining of the gut, therefore supporting optimized gut health [8].
  • Redmond Real Salt: aka Electrolytes. Refined table salt is an ultra processed food and has been stripped of it’s trace minerals and contains additives such as anti-caking agents. For these reasons, refined table salt is highly inflammatory and may have a negative impact on blood pressure. Real Salt contains 60+ trace minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper and zinc, all of which are essential, encourage proper hydration and more.
  • Pure Raw Honey: I like to add  pure local raw honey for that touch of sweetness and as a whole food source of carbohydrates. Ultra processed cane sugar, HFCS, crystalline fructose (refined corn based sweetener), and other refined sweeteners (including aspartame and sucralose) are highly inflammatory to the body.

So grab your gut-loving, energizing ingredients, and let’s get ready to hydrate!

The Best Homemade Sports Drink Ingredients

3 cups Cool Filtered Water

1/2 Fresh Lemon, juiced

1 tsp Pure Beet Juice Powder

1 tsp Pure Pomegranate Powder

1/4-1/2 tsp Fine Real Salt

1 tsp- 1 Tbsp Pure Local Raw Honey*

*Omit for Keto/Whole30 (3g Net Carbs, 2g Sugar without the Honey)

How to Make The Best Homemade Sports Drink

1. Fill a water bottle with 3-cups of cool filtered water.

2.  Add the remaining ingredients.

3. Shake or blend with a frother to mix.


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Q: What are your thoughts on stevia to sweeten the homemade sports drink but keep it keto?

A: While I am not a huge fan of stevia, or any other “no calorie” sweeteners whether they are “natural” or not (they can cause reactive hypoglycemia and come with other negative consequences), I would go for pure stevia drops and only use it on occasion, definitely not everyday.

Q: What other salt sources do you recommend besides Redmond Real Salt?

A: I love to alternate with some pink Himalayan salt or unrefined sea salt.

Q: Can I make homemade sports drinks ahead of time?

A: Yes! Make a batch the night before and store it in the refrigerator so it’s ready for you the next day!

Q: Does the beet greens powder have a strong flavor?

A: Beet greens powder taste, well, like beets and if it’s not your favorite, you can omit it, or start small, with 1/4 of a teaspoon and work your way up. I personally love beets and really enjoy the sweet earthy flavor it adds to this homemade sports drink.

Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to the products and kitchen gear I love. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Almond Milk and Cookies!


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Welcome to Almond Milk and Cookies where good food, health and lots of flavor go hand-in-hand!

I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.

Sharing what I make and eat with all of you…in hopes that you find inspiration here to fuel your body and feel your best with nutrient dense whole foods and clean eating.

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