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The Secret Behind Gatorade & How to Replenish Electrolytes Naturally

Let’s face it – Gatorade (and Powerade, etc…) is one of the worst things you could possibly put in your body. It’s made up of mostly chemically treated & refined sugar (as much as a typical soda), artificial colors, and other ingredients that are dreadful for your body.

One of the worst ingredients is Brominated Vegetable Oil which is added to some flavors to keep the drink from getting cloudy and the artificial flavor suspended in the drink. This controversial substance is linked to serious health consequences like skin rashes, severe acne and thyroid disease and is banned in Europe and Japan! (Update: Gatorade recently decided to phase out this ingredient due to a recent successful petition, but Powerade still contains it)

The new natural version of Gatorade still has chemically processed refined sugars and questionable natural flavor to cover up the fact there is absolutely no fruit juice in this drink to make their fruity flavors. To think athletes and exercise enthusiasts have started drinking this makes me sad.

Even more upsetting, my parents (sorry Mom and Dad!), not knowing any better at the time used to serve me Gatorade to make sure I was hydrated anytime I was under the weather. It was the remedy of choice for hydration in my household growing up…I remember orange was my favorite flavor and is the worst one for you.

Gatorade does do one thing. It replaces electrolytes. But what is the big secret behind the ingredients that do this? To replace electrolytes you don’t need some tricky formula, man made chemicals, refined sugars or colors. All you need is simple real food sources that provide a few key minerals like sodium, chloride, potassium and magnesium.

Here are 4 ways to replenish your electrolytes naturally and give your body some serious nutrition at the same time. Remember to choose organic ingredients whenever possible.

  1. Juice Celery + Apple + Lemon – This juice combination works wonders for replacement of electrolytes. The celery has a natural source of sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphorus. Apple provides additional potassium and natural sweetness. Lemon is the highest electrolyte containing citrus fruit.

  3. Stir Sea Salt + Baking Soda + Lemon Juice + Maple Syrup into 8 ounces of Water – This is a great natural remedy for serious endurance athletes – You might think drinking baking soda is a little weird, but it’s been used for centuries to treat various aliments. In this case, it’s added to the mix because it makes the body less acidic and provides an additional source of sodium bicarbonate.

  5. Shake Raw Coconut Water + Chia Seeds – Raw coconut water has a ton of electrolytes and potassium that will not only help you stay hydrated but also keep your body from getting any cramps. It is completely natural and very low in sugar. Combine this with a packet of chia seeds and you have a 1-2 punch! Chia seeds are an incredible energy food – full of omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber. These seeds have the ability to keep you from getting dehydrated because of they can hold 9 times their weight in water! There are travel packs available that don’t need refrigeration either – perfect for just throwing in your gym bag or purse.

  7. Blend Frozen Banana + Almond Milk + Kale – This smoothie is extremely hydrating. The banana provides a good source of potassium and magnesium which help regulate your fluid stores. Almonds are extremely rich in magnesium and potassium. When you make your almond milk, make sure you add sea salt (store bought almond milk already has salt added to it). Kale is a superfood and another excellent source of magnesium and calcium.

Now go outside and sweat, so you can enjoy one of these yummy combinations!

Food Babe

P.S. After I wrote this article, 2 news agencies reported about sports drinks – The Atlantic and NPR. These are must reads, check them out.

Specifically, The Atlantic reported that scientists 40 years ago were paid by these sport drink companies to tell us we would not be able to sufficiently hydrate ourselves with just water, that our children didn’t drink enough at meals, and that we would lose performance during sporting events if we didn’t drink this artificially flavored and colored salt water. These companies even developed school outreach programs to get to even more children to buy into the thought of drinking sports drinks at an early age. Are you shocked? I certainly am.

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300 responses to “The Secret Behind Gatorade & How to Replenish Electrolytes Naturally

  1. Due to an issue with my autonomic nervous system my body is naturally dehydrated and because of that part of the treatment is to drink Gatorade and increase my salt intake. This has been a significant problem for me as it goes completely against how I live my life, however I know that my body needs the electrolytes and sodium. Looking forward to trying the baking soda, salt, lemon and maple syrup concoction! Hoping that it helps keep me hydrated 🙂

    1. Hi- (US Wellness manufacture) has a product called sustain. It has B vitamins and electrolytes and only 3 grams of sugar. Also alot of other natural Nutrition products

      1. Hi:

        Please read the ingredients to the Sustain Sport electrolytes powder drink. It has a few ingredients that I’d be questioning about. <3

      2. What’s with comment adverts for sugary sports drinks? Or adding sugar to recipes? All you need is salt and water. Basically salt + water + some plant/herb/veggie to get mineralized water into your body. I add handful of hand bruised mint stems to sea salt water for hot days working in garden. I heard of old folk recipe from using salt water and chili flakes.

        For no salt, I heard a woman blended her bunch of mints and drink it as a hot/chilled tea diluted in water. She used a strainer.

        Maybe Vani’s next expose should be how sugar is in everything. We’ve turned all our food into desserts. 26g of sugar in one serving of that Sustain product. What the heck.

  2. Are there any options to buy in the store? I have 2 very active kids that love Gatorade. Would love to do coconut water, but neither like the taste. Let me know if you have any suggestions as to what can be bought! Thanks!

    1. Hi- has a product called sustain. It has B vitamins and electrolytes and only 3 grams of sugar. Also alot of other natural sports Nutrition products

    2. I bought a water ionizer from Japan that is certified as a medical device there. It is made in a medical facility using medical grade platinum & titanium. It separates negative from positive minerals, making alkaline, negatively charged water for drinking (tastes great), & chem-free acidic waters for cleaning & disinfecting. See the site I have at & the company at It’s not an MLM but the company does pay referral fees to help offset the price. If interested I can help find someone near you who can share water for free. We don’t sell water, we give it away.

      1. Toni my email is on my website if you want to reach me & I’ll try to get you free water in your area.
        Don, if we only compare price we can always find cheaper. Since the body is 70-80% water, I want mine water from a device made with medical grade parts. If you could get free water from a cheaper company (which you can’t) & drank both you would find out if you get the same results.

    3. u can add a sqeeze of any fresh fruit in the coconut water/juice to help with the flavor, if your kids arent to kind to it, my daughter likes pineapple crushed in it.

  3. You really need to come up with options that busy parents running one or more kids to sporting events will be willing to do.–and not so complicated. I use bio-salt and water. The epidemic of kids drinking Gatorade at sporting events need to be overcome.

  4. Electrolytes are alkaline minerals. If Gatorade had enough it would have a pH of 7 or higher and be negatively charged. When bottle after bottle is tested, it tests lower than 7 and with a positive charge. Bottled waters test the same. That’s the sad truth. .

  5. Citric acid is an ingredient in gatorade (and many other things) that makes a lot of people sick. It’s not lemon juice, like a person might think! I enjoy your posts. Thank you!

  6. I’ve heard, via a guest on Dr Oz, a pinch of salt and a lemon wedge in water is another way. Is that true?

    1. Is it true salt and lemon in water helps put back electrolytes in your body if so how much?

  7. But how much potassium, sodium or magnesium are you getting in these concoctions? I take two forms of prescription potassium and drink two 32 oz bottles of Powerade just to try to stay hydrated. I need the breakdown on your drinks.

    1. It’s not just about the amounts of the electrolytes but about the quality of the whole concoction that affects absorption and utilization of these things, too. These drinks are made with whole foods containing these electrolytes, which is the way we’re designed to take these things in. On the other hand, the crappy sugars in the “sports drinks” are really taxing to the body.

  8. I buy Vitamin Water at Kroger…has vitamins and nutrients as well as electrolytes and is a lot better than Gatorade.

    1. Vitamin Water has glorified corn syrup in it called crystalline fructose …Stay clear away from that product.

  9. Want to DIY? Make one gallon from two packets of unsweetened kid’s powdered drink mixes, add about 1/2 of the sugar, and add 1/4 tsp table salt, 1/4 tsp of imitation salt, and 1/8 tsp of baking soda. This sports electrolyte replacement hydration liquid is 1/10 of the cost of the University of Florida Gator’s sports drink aide. Been making and drinking it for 15 years of ultra endurance bicycling up to 6,000 miles a year with no bad effects.

  10. I am at a ball field almost every weekend and many week nights, with a 7 and a 9 year old for sports practices and games. It makes me so sad to see how much Gatorade is consumed. It is what they sell at the concession stand as well (or fountain soda) Ugh! I found a delicious product called Replenish that the boys and I love. It is all natural with no artificial colors or sweeteners. Only 7 gms of sugar and 35 calories. No caffeine or stimulants, restores electrolytes and contains nutrients, Vit A, C and B-Complex. I love the products so much, 3 years ago, I became a distributor. It comes in 45 serving jars or single serving packets for on the go.

  11. Try Sports Food Technologies rapid electrolyte replacement oral film strips. They contain NO sugar or carbs, and DO NOT have to be digested. They are absorbed into your bloodstream in 30 seconds. Just use 2 before, during, and after your workout. Put them in your cheek, and let them replenish your electrolytes without any gurgling in your stomach that other products do. Buy them online at this time, retail locations to follow.

  12. It’s funny how you bash Gatorade, yet my wife has been told by KIDNEY DOCTORS (plural, you see?) to drink it when she’s dehydrated.

    1. Way back when gatorade 1st came out I believe it did have numerous vitamins etc in it, I was saddened to read a label a year or 2 ago only to see it’s become not much more than glorified kool-ade. Sadly far too many company’s of every kind these days put out a good product until they have a fan-base then they cut every good thing the product had going for it, to cut their own production costs while still charging for the original. Your doctor may not have actualy looked at a gatorade label for a very long time, maybe it’s time he took a gander at the ‘new and improved’ list of ingredients

    2. I would expect that from allopath docs. That’s how they are trained. Nutrition isn’t their strong point. Vani has great advice here.

  13. I’m lookin for a natural replacement for Gatorade. Also found the ingredients aren’t as natural as I want. I used to use it as a sugar to keep me. Sometimes I would have sugar drops. I think the ingredients did change over the past years

    I appreciate you letting people know there are ways to get electrolytes with out the artificial ingredients. I noticed some are mentioning it’s not easy to make. Your heath is with the time it takes. A blender, and each kid can have heir own drink bottles ready to fill. Then put them in the fridge until practice time.

  14. I strap my cellphone to the full 20 liter bottles of filtered water before use and play the 444 Kz pure tone soundtrack into it.
    The Gerson Therapy protocol for removing cancer from the body is said to work by removing as much sodium chloride from the body as possible and increasing the intake of potassium because sodium chloride draws water into the cells and restricts the production of ATP ( cell energy ).
    Considering this perspective , commercially produced electrolytes have way too much sodium chloride and too little potassium in them.

  15. blackstrap molasses. great natural source of electrolytes, except sodium. the taste takes a bit if getting used to though

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