You'll Love This 3-Ingredient DIY Sports Drink

Whether you work out at the gym, run, walk, or you just want to look athletic, there's nothing like pulling a sports drink out of your pack to convey the message that you're committed to staying fit and healthy. Unfortunately, sports drinks do have their downsides. Many of them are really not as good for you as you might think, packed as they are with lots of sugar and artificial coloring. In fact, despite the fact that Gatorade seems to be ubiquitous on the sidelines of every major sporting event, many top athletes won't touch the stuff.

Yet another issue with sports drinks (although one that probably doesn't bother pro sports players too much) is how expensive they are. A few dollars for a bottle, whew, even if you buy the stuff in bulk, it can come to some pretty big bucks. Fortunately, sports drinks are something you can mix up in your own kitchen — where you control the ingredients.

How to make a 3-ingredient sports drink

According to Bicycling, sports drinks sweetened with sucrose (sugar) help you burn more carbs and feel less fatigued after strenuous exercise. EUFIC adds that their salt content replaces the body's natural sodium lost through sweating. It also helps stimulate thirst and allows your body to better absorb both carbs and water. 

Bicycling provides a basic 3-ingredient recipe for a DIY sports drink that involves mixing 5 tablespoons of sugar and one-quarter teaspoon of salt into your water bottle. It couldn't be easier. And if you want to improve the taste, they suggest swapping out part of the water for coconut water, infusing your beverage with lemon and lime slices, or adding pineapple juice and honey. But if you're a stickler for details, those recipe tweaks technically put the ingredient count above the magic number of three.

Well and Good lists several sports drink recipes that sound appealing and are very easy to make. Their homemade Gatorade calls for five ingredients (lemon, orange juice, and honey, in addition to the water/salt mix). And if you want a three-ingredient drink that contains both sucrose and sodium, as well as a base that's tastier than plain water, you might like the herbal cooler than involves sweetening a quart of herbal tea with 2 to 4 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup and stirring in one-quarter teaspoon of sea salt.