DIY Electrolyte Drink :: Natural rehydration for colds, flu, food poisoning, & physical exertion
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Every winter it is bound to happen.

Those sad little glassy eyes wake up and pout “momma…I don’t feel good”.

We certainly don’t live in a bubble, and as diligent as I work at keeping the girls’ immune systems built up to fight the bugs efficiently, once or twice a winter the immune system has to clean house and we have a bug sweep through. (I love THIS post about why this is a good thing!)


DIY Electrolyte Drink :: Natural rehydration for colds, flu, food poisoning, & physical exertion

I am a big believer in listening to our kids when they are sick

If they don’t feel like eating that is fine by me. Let their bodies use energy to fight the infection instead of digesting food! But they do need to stay hydrated so their organs and immune system can do their job.


DIY Electrolyte Drink :: Natural rehydration for colds, flu, food poisoning, & physical exertion

A better hydrating choice using real food ingredients

While mineral rich bone broth is always my first drink offer, even my girls who like bone broth won’t likely sip on it all day. A few years back when my first daughter got her first cold I did a quick freak out at the ingredient list in the Pedialyte isle and decided I would just make my own. A mixture of cleansing lemon and energy giving raw honey was welcomed by my little one at the time. And the sea salt packed a mineral punch that kept her electrolytes in balance while she fought off her first cold.

DIY Electrolyte Drink :: Natural rehydration for colds, flu, food poisoning, & physical exertion

Easy shake it up in the jar prep!

In the last 2 years I have nailed down the ingredient amounts I like to use – AND made it an efficient and quick process to make. This momma of 3 doesn’t have much time for playing around with mixing, measuring, and heating. This recipe is literally dump the ingredients in a pint mason jar and give it a shake. Done.

DIY Electrolyte Drink :: Natural rehydration for colds, flu, food poisoning, & physical exertion

A few notes!

  • This recipe makes a pint mason jar perfectly. My girls are younger and typically won’t drink more than this amount in one day while they are ill. It is a nice amount to make for them to sip on in small amounts during the day. If you have older kids, or will be using it for yourself while ill you can double, triple, or more into a pitcher. When I make it for myself I double it into a quart mason jar.
  • Make the mixture into popsicles! Perfect for scratchy throats too! (And might I add teething toddlers?!)
  • Since most of the immune system resides in the gut, I also like to add probiotics to the jar if I haven’t been able to get them in any other way during the day.
  • I have one of these super simple lemon juicersit’s quick enough for busy momma!
  • These elderberry popsicles are another great idea to have on hand during illness.
  • For more info on managing flu symptoms see THIS POST.
  • When the kiddo’s tummies feel like eating solid food again, here is a great Post Tummy Bug Recovery Smoothie to introduce solids back into their gut.

Please note this drink is not suitable for babies under the age of 1 considering the raw honey and acidity of the lemons. Babies under 1 should be nursing as much as possible during illness, and if baby is not nursing you can use coconut water to hydrate.

DIY Electrolyte Drink

Renee -
When your family isn't feeling well, mix this up to get them on the mend ASAP.
4.94 from 31 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings



  • Everything into a jar with a lid and shake well to combine. This recipe fits perfect in a pint mason jar.
  • Store in the fridge up to a week.
Keyword electrolyte drink recipe, homemade electrolyte drink, homemade pedialyte
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Recipe Rating


    1. Hi Sandrine! I drink lemon water most days of the week and have never had a problem with enamel – although I would imagine diet and/or genetics might play a role in that?

  1. 5 stars
    I shared this on my Facebook page and it got tons of eyeballs. THANK YOU for this. As I mentioned on FB, I think this is an excellent alternative to the “pediatrician-approved” sitting in plastic for months at a time drinks that are full of unpronounceable ingredients that I don’t think we should be giving to our kids, including petroleum-based food dyes.

  2. While the electrolytes in this are awesome for those that are sick, etc. it would not be appropriate for chemo patients because honey is NOT pasteurized. Chemo patients immune systems are typically in bad shape during chemotherapy and giving them honey may effect their ability to recover. Possibly this recipe with an alternative sweetener would be more appropriate.

    1. Hi Sirena! Thank you for the information! I didn’t make recommendations for chemo patients in this particular post as that is not my specialty. If raw honey is a concern you can use a splash of organic apple juice, pure maple syrup (which has minerals too), or splash of organic fresh squeezed orange juice. Hope that helps!

      1. Hi,

        If I like the taste of lemon, salt and water without any sweetener, can i avoid the honey? Also, can this be done the night before and refrigerated or does it have to be fresh?

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  4. This looks great! I hate all the Gatorade that kids drink for sporting events and to replenish fluids & electrolytes.

    Is the lemon crucial to the electrolytes or could you add/substitute lemon essential oils?

    I love the detoxifying nature of the lemon essential oils.

    1. Hi Lori! If you feel comfortable using the lemon EO in your drink you may do that 🙂 I don’t advocate for ingesting essential oils at this time so I would still recommend the lemon. The I like getting the juice squeezed right from the lemon for its detoxing attributes and vitamin C. I hope that helps!

    1. Hi Angel! Fresh squeezed orange would work fine too if that is what you have. Lemons do have a detoxing attribute along with the vitamin C which is why I prefer the lemon, but if your little one prefers the orange and will drink it better that way do that. Hope that helps!

  5. I just made this using Stevia in place of honey (that’s what I had on hand). I exercise really hard for 2-3 hours at a time and lose a lot of fluid sweating. I can get bad cramps in all muscle groups in my legs during the night. Although I drink lots of lemon water I have never put salt in it. I hope this works for me! I also heated it up like a tea and it is great tasting on this cold day!

    1. Hi Lynn 🙂 I never said in this post that this drink was appropriate for babies under 1. I will be more specific and edit that right now – babies under one ought be either nursing or if they cannot they can drink coconut water with a pinch of sea salt.

  6. This sounds good. I’m prepping stuff for labor next month, do you think this would make a good labor drink to help replenish fluids? I remember with my last, I was so thirsty by the end of of the labor (despite my hubby being great about refilling my thermos with water) that the watermelon he had packed for the hospital was the most welcome treat. Little disappointed I don’t get watermelon this time around–winter babies! 😉

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this!! I had made something similar to this a few months ago & had sweetened it with a bit of pure maple syrup. I also added about a Tbsp of ACV (Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar). It was very refreshing. Don’t know why I forgot about it— other than the fact that this doozy of a cold I’ve had for 5days (1st in over 2yrs) has muddled my brain!! I actually ended up drinking Gatorade…. blechhhh. OK… thanks for the reminder & recipe for this electrolyte drink!! Question– what do you think of the addition of the ACV??

    1. Hi Carol! The ACV is a good addition if you can tolerate it! Some don’t tolerate ferments while ill – especially children, so this is the bland of the bland, and you can add what works for you! I hope you feel better soon 🙂

  8. I can catch a cold really fast, sometimes there are months when I have a stuffy nose what results into a headache or a sore throat. If I had some lemons I would make it immediately.

  9. We’ve had a morning of sickness in our house and no way to get to the store for pedialyte. Then I remembered seeing this on Allergy Free Wednesday. I just made it and tried it and 7 year old drank it right up! Thanks for helping out in a bind. And so much better than store bought!

  10. Living so far from any decent place to buy produce in the winter, we don’t have any lemons on hand. Is the lemon juice from concentrate in a bottle effective at all for this type of use?

    1. I think if I were in that situation Julia I might just add a splash of 100% juice like apple juice. The lemon juice from concentrate really doesn’t have the same nutritional value from what I understand after it goes through the process to be concentrated. Does that make sense?

  11. 4 stars
    I regularly deal with dehydration/electrolyte imbalance due to gastro issues, and for the past 24 hours I’ve had miserable time with food poisoning as well. A quick search for “electrolyte re-hydration drink” brought Me to this page, and I said “that sounds like a great recipe!”.
    It’s similar to one I’ve made for myself before. I used Orange Juice concentrate – homestyle with orange bits still in it, mixed with gatorade, young coconut water, powerade, or the “revive” type of Vitamin water. Then I dumped in a small amount of sea salt and some cane sugar then shook it like crazy.
    The only additions that could have improved this?
    Honey, banana puree + water, and some cleansing lemon.
    That said, I think the combination of our formulas would be far more replenishing than anything commonly available in the market or at a medical center. 🙂

  12. Would taking this during excercise not upset your tummy with the vitamin c effect in lemon. I drink lemon water in the morning first thing & it can bring on a toilet visit.

  13. 5 stars
    We made a drink almost just like this when I was in labor. Turned out I wanted nothing to do with it while in labor, but we’ve also used it for long races and hard workouts. This looks yummy! Much better than Gatorade. 🙂

  14. 5 stars
    My little 3 year old had a tummy bug last week and she loved this. Thank you!! She kept asking for her special lemonade. 🙂

  15. Can you use table or kosher salt? That’s all I have. Also if the little one throws this up is it worth it to keep trying?

    1. The purpose of the sea salt is for mineral replacement – there isn’t much to table/kosher salt. I wouldn’t give anything to an actively throwing up child until they have been throw up free for 6-8 hours. You could do a tiny sip of this if they are thirsty.

  16. 5 stars
    I’m sick with a horrible cough and sore throat, after drinking this my cough has lowered a LOT and this tastes like lemonade and isn’t horrible like all those other diy drinks. ( I added a tablespoon more of honey because I have a sweet tooth) THANK YOU

  17. Thanks for this.. I’m on a low carb diet, and even though I’ve been drinking plenty of water, I started to get really dehydrated. I just made this a half hour ago, and I already feel better. I used what I had on hand which was water, lime juice, Himalayan sea salt and some apple cider vinegar.

  18. This is a great recipe but i was still having hydration issyso a friend mentioned adding a Tablespoon of a healthy Gelatin to it and wowee that made all the difference. My body actually holds and absorbes it so im not instantly eliminating after ive drank it.

    My question is: is honey essential to get the full electrolyte effect? What is honeys role in achieving this electrolyte status?
    Thanks i know this is an old thread, i hope you are still servicing this.

    1. Hi Carrie! The Raw Honey has enzymes that are helpful to the gut, but it also makes the drink more palatable for little ones. The sea salt is going to help with the electrolytes.

    1. There is a purpose for the raw honey in some quick burning energy fuel for sick kids or athletes. Raw honey also has healing enzymes and an abundance of minerals good for all bodies.

  19. Loved this recipe and a much better alternative to pedialyte for my LO whose had a tummy bug. I added fresh orange, along with the lemon and it was a success!

  20. Is the honey necessary or is it only added for flavor? I have a difficult time with sugars of any sort.

    1. The raw honey is good electrolyte replenishment as well, but you certainly could leave it out and just rely on the sea salt for electrolytes. In the case of a sick child or athletes the quick carbs of the honey are helpful as well.

  21. If anyone is concerned with tooth enamel erosion use a straw.
    Also, the re hydration success requires glucose … people are asking “ do I have to use sweetener “ yes, you do, not Stevie, not monk fruit or the other “ no glycemic sweeteners “ the chemistry about this is using glucose along with sodium and other electrolytes to penetrate cells to hydrate and one needs glucose to enter the bloodstream to transport the electrolytes into cells to hydrate properly.

  22. 5 stars
    So happy I found this post. I googled “homemade electrolytes”. I was getting a bit tired of paying way too much for powdered commercial electrolytes. Thank you so much, Renee, for this. Linda

  23. Out of lemons, but used a lime instead. This tasted better than I expected! My hubby mixed it up for me since I’m not feeling well. Just the right amount of salty and sweetness from the honey. Easy! Tasty! I’ll never buy Gatorade again!

  24. I was a little dehydrated due the new year holiday 😬. I found this recipe and it tasted really good. Thanks
    Feeling better already!!

  25. I had found a recipe similar to this, although it didn’t call for the sea salt. The purpose of that recipe was for soothing your symptoms of a cold. It was a hot drink. I don’t recall the exact quantities but I made it in a pitcher; squeezed 4 or 5 lemons, then put them lemon rinds in too, pour boiling water in & let steep. Add honey to your cup to taste & drink while hot. It is very soothing for a sore throat & stuffy head. Now I want to try this for hydration purpose. I’ll have to get the sea salt. I had already read about drinking water with a pinch of sea salt, just hadn’t tried it yet.

  26. This is AMAZING FOR HANGOVERS lol. & you can make this KETO by swapping out honey for 10 drops of liquid stevia & I added 1/4 tsp of cream of tar tar (for a natural source of extra electrolytes) 5 stars!!!! Because it works & it’s not junk 😉

  27. 5 stars
    I will be trying this too, but I think I’m going to use agave nectar instead of the sugar. As much as I hate to say it, sugar and I just don’t get along these days 🙁

    1. Hi Rhonda! I would encourage you to look up how agave syrup affects blood sugar as well! Agave actually spikes worse than sugar or honey! Perhaps try some coconut sugar or even Swerve if you want a low carb alternative!

  28. 5 stars
    Hi Renee,
    Thanks for this. I have Crohn’s Disease and after a brutal week (my Mom died of Covid a week ago – she lived in NV) I haven’t yet shed a single tear. but my gut is doing the grieving right now. The cramping and dehydration have now caught up with me. I wanted something soothing and natural – this totally works for me. I’m in England – I’m a Mum and Grandmother. Massive thanks. Sending blessings your way.

  29. 5 stars
    I’m so glad that there is a healthy substitute for Gatorade that’s easy to make! My family usually drinks kefir and kombucha instead, but it takes a lot of time to make.

  30. 5 stars
    I am having Weight Loss Surgery in October. I will ask my dietitian if I can drink this instead of buying all those expensive electrolyte drinks. Can you freeze these?

  31. I’m on low carb, high protein diet and also been doing lots of exercising lately. I’ve been drinking a lot more than usual and still feeling thirsty (but unable to drink more because I feel full all the time), nauseous and lack of energy. And I realized that I might be having serious electrolyte imbalance. Freaked out a bit because it’s midnight. So I googled homemade electrolyte drink recipe and found this. Luckily I have all the ingredients (only have cheap honey currently, but it still works I think). Made it right away and feel a lot better now. It tasted a bit like Pocari Sweat, which is my favorite electrolyte drink. Thank you for the recipe, would definitely make it often.

  32. 5 stars
    This was bloody amazing! My brother, grandma and I smashed one of these each, after we wre slighlty hungover after my birthday last night. Honestly, within 5 mins of drinking it we felt amazing! Thank you!

    1. Hi Krissy! You can leave it out if you wish. Raw honey does have a load of naturally occurring minerals that help balance electrolytes and replenish too, but the sea salt will help with that as well.

    1. Hi Julie! You can use less salt- the point of the real sea salt is to get the minerals in, almost like making a sole water, but if it is too much for your taste, just pull the salt down a bit.

  33. Thank you for this recipe! It says to store the ingredients in a mason jar; is that only the salt or stored with honey and lemon juice before adding water the day you need it? I’ve used this and love it, it’s storing a pre-made starter that isn’t jelling when I picture it.

  34. Made this in a plastic milk jug double serve and eyeballed the honey. Had a coffee and workout without water to dry myself out.

    Tastes really good and I’m feeling hydrated. Will keep testing it over time though.

    Also cheap on the wallet, no more $3 Powerade

  35. great. covid slow-downs have the pedialyte shelves totally empty. even if i dont do it today ive got it for good – lemon, sea salt, honey. thank you. a gi bug has me too dizzy to …write this.

  36. 5 stars
    Electrolytes are essential for staying hydrated, especially when you’re sick or suffering from a condition like chronic fatigue. They are also important for hydrating after physical exertion or running a marathon. Unfortunately, we’re often advised to drink water when we’re ill, but water alone is not enough.

  37. Just drank some of this after feeling some minor side-effects from the Covid-19 booster shot that I think may have been attributed to dehydration. Not only is it delicious, but it helped combat the malaise within an hour.

  38. Thanks for the recipe. Just made a batch. Tasted good to me. I made some of it into Popsicles as I have to littles with a tummy bug right now. Nothing like waking at 3am to the sound of not one but two kids vomiting, bless their little hearts. Store bought electrolyte drinks freak me out. Thanks again for sharing.

  39. 5 stars
    Helped with my horrible nausea and headaches during the pregnancy of my 4th child! How much do you think I could safely drink as a pregnant mommy on the daily? Thanks!

    1. This is something you can sip on all day really – there isn’t anything here that would be harmful. The minerals are things your baby is quite literally taking right from you, and you need them!

  40. Thank you, thank you! Covid, Day 13 with cough and fever. Water upset my stomach so I became very dehydrated. Found your recipe yesterday afternoon and used the higher amount of good quality salt Drank 6 cups easily. This recipe might keep me out of the hospital. Seriously! Great work!! God bless you!!

  41. I’ve had diarrhea on/ off since 0630. I got curious about making a homemade electrolyte drink b/c I’m in no shape to go anywhere (let alone operate a vehicle). I’m very lethargic as I type this. Made your drink, and it’s like the Fountain of Youth has entered me!! I instantly started to feel more like myself not even 15min after drinking the entire drink (about 3 cups)

    Thank you for this recipe!!! No more sugary Gatorade or Pedialyte in this house ever again!!!


  42. I always make this drink whenever I have a headache or feel tired. I personally add a splash of apple cider vinegar to improve gut health.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and helping people take care of their health the natural way 🙂

  43. Was looking for an electrolyte clear liquid drink to get me through a week of required clear liqs. Thanks so much! This is a tasty recipe and should get me through (along with tea, broth, water and gelatin). Really appreciate you sharing.

  44. 5 stars
    I was very thirsty when I came across your Electrolyte Drink and loved the simplicity of it. Immediately got up from my computer and made myself a drink. I will pin this recipe to my fridge until I know the measurements by heart because this will definitely be a go-to for me. Thank you so much for sharing.

  45. Hi there,
    I came across this recipe because I am currently pregnant and am suffering from very loose bowl movements and find I am always thirsty, no matter how much water I drink.
    I will be making this drink tonight ready for tomorrow morning.
    Praying it helps keep me hydrated.
    Thanks so much for sharing. God Bless.

  46. Thank you for being a light in the darkness. If people only knew what they did to the stuff they call food in the grocery store. Love and hugs from one momma to another!

  47. 5 stars
    So thankful I came across this recipe! Question: I asked my mom to grab these ingredients for me today (im currently sick and dehydrated and just figured out why my filtered water isn’t helping) and she grabbed “fine sea salt” by Morton’s that says at the bottom “this product does not contain the essential mineral Iodine”. My question is, will this sea salt still be efficient and effective to create this electrolyte drink, or do I need to return it for sea salt with iodine? Thank you!!

  48. I have been so dehydrated recently due to my strict school schedule — found this online and I love it. I add a little extra honey myself to take the bite off of the lemon. Thanks for sharing!

  49. 5 stars
    Thank you for this blog post and fabulous recipe. We hosted a big holiday diner a week ago then two days after, we’ve all been sick with the flu. On the upswing but sensing something was wrong and missing, we sought out a homemade electrolyte replacement recipe and found your post here. We didn’t have raw honey on hand so used what we had; a locally produced Fall Wild Flower Honey, which is darker and muskier than regular honey. Not sure if that deprived the electrolyte replacement aspect, but the darker honey added a “swarm” of interesting background flavors. If the taste and health benefits of this recipe ever became known, it would rightfully shut down the soda industry. We will be experimenting a lot using this as the base.

  50. Hi! This sounds delicious. Do you think I could add some ginger to this recipe for an extra kick?