Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Hydration Fruit-Ade - homemade sports drink recipe made from natural fruit juice.

Prevent dehydration with DIY isotonic sports drinks made from fruit juice. Great for kayakers, IKers, rafters, canoers, innertubers & all athletes who are active for many hours per day.

(Updated 19oct2009.) You can make a really high quality, natural sports drink by diluting your favorite fruit/vegetable juice to provide exactly the right sugar concentration and then adding a little salt. This recipe provides the antioxidants, vitamins and nutrition of the natural juices in a rapidly absorbed formulation that also replenishes the salts that you lose in your sweat. See the Pomegranate & cherry sports drinks, Hydration Fruit-Ade Oct. 2009 Update, Apple Juice plus Vinegar Hydration Sports Drink and Natural Organic Sports Drinks for results on testing cherry juice and many other fruit juices in this recipe.

My DIY recipe for "Hydration Fruit-Ade" uses water and salt in amounts recommended by Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. The natural sugars in the commercial fruit juices or vegetable/fruit juice blends can be diluted precisely to the sugar levels recommended by Nancy using the nutritional information on the label. If the recipe below is too dull for your tastes do NOT add sugar or extra juice because that would slow down the absorption of the liquid into your body and totally defeat the purpose of the sports drink. If necessary, you can get some additional sweetness and flavor enhancement by adding Stevia, a natural liquid concentrate (available at health food stores and online). Some fruit juices might make a better tasting sports drink with addition of a little lemon or lime juice; these don't contain any sugar so they can be added without disrupting the recipe.
Morton Lite Salt includes both potassium and sodium, the two major electrolyte salts that need to be replaced during prolonged, intense athletic activities. The salt stimulates your thirst mechanism, prevents the drink from quenching your thirst and helps encourage you to keep drinking more liquid throughout your day of sports activities. You should measure the salt carefully. If you add a little too much salt, then the liquid quickly becomes intolerable to drink. If the amount of salt in the recipe is too much for your tastes, then add less salt to the next batch of Hydration Fruit-Ade that you make. You want some salt in the recipe, but it is definitely most important to end up with a formula that tastes good enough to drink happily throughout your day of activities.

To achieve the paddleboating sports performance that your fitness level should provide you must maintain good hydration throughout your day of whitewater river boating !!!

Hydration Fruit-Ade recipes for 2 quarts (64 oz).

Fruit juices vary widely in the amounts of sugar that they contain. Read the Nutrition Facts on the label of your juice to learn how much sugar it contains per 8 oz serving. Then use the table below to dilute your choice of fruit juice to the exact sugar level that is needed in a sports drink. Add stevia or other sugar-free sweeteners or flavor enhancers if needed.
sugar per 8 oz serving
amount juice
amount water
amount salt
64 oz
0 oz
1/4 tsp
43 oz
21 oz
1/4 tsp
32 oz
32 oz
1/4 tsp
21 oz
43 oz
1/4 tsp
16 oz
48 oz
1/4 tsp
13 oz
51 oz
1/4 tsp
11 oz
53 oz
1/4 tsp

• See also: PowerT Hydration Juice - adding tea to the Fruit-Ade recipe makes a great energy drink!!

Hydration Lemon-Ade & Hydration Lime-Ade recipes for 2 quarts or 1 gallon.

Bottled lemon and lime juices are readily available in our grocery stores. These contain little or no sugar, so sugar must be added to make the hydration drink.
2 Quarts: 2 quarts water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp Morton Lite Salt, 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice.
1 Gallon: 4 quarts water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp Morton Lite Salt, 1 cup lemon or lime juice.
Home version: no salt & no sugar added, just sweeten to taste with stevia.

Hydration Fruit-Ade - Home Version.

Whenever I'm not intensely exercising I don't need a drink with the electrolytes from the salt. I use this "home version" for hydration when driving home from whitewater paddleboating trips, and when I am inactive at home and at work. Many brands of fruit juices diluted in the Fruit-Ade recipe provide a light and refreshing drink that I like even better than the juice concentration provided by the manufacturer.
2 Quarts: Use the Hydration Fruit-Ade recipe above, but delete the salt.

What hydration drinks do you use during paddleboating and other intense sports or work activities?

Please add a comment here to let me know if you try Hydration Fruit-Ade. What commercial fruit juices do you like to make the best DIY sports drinks? Let me know if you have a modified recipe or a different recipe that you like better than the Hydration Fruit-Ade natural sports drinks described above.

My favorite recipes: cherry pomegranate juice sports drink, grape juice sports drink, watermelon-lime juice sports drink, apple juice sports drink.

More about:
Pomegranate, blueberry, cherry & grape sports drinks decrease muscle soreness in athletes 17july2010.
Paddle boaters need good hydration for optimum paddling performance - BRT Insights.
Sports Drinks for Hydration of Kayakers, IKers, Rafters, Canoers, Innertubers & Paddleboaters - BRT Insights.
Food & Drink for Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.
Hydration Cool-Ade - inexpensive homemade sports drink for paddleboaters and other athletes.
Sports Drinks - Health & Safety - Washington State Government.
Making Homemade Gatorade : Cheap Eats.
How to Make a Homemade Sports Drink - The Art of Living Healthy 14july2009.
Organic Sports Drink Recipe - Kitchen Table Medicine 23june2008.

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Hi Bruce,

I love your post! Hydration is a bit of an issue for me. Although I have meanwhile found that Propel sachets work really well for me, I have been wondering about how to make my own.

I will try the recipes, especially the lemon and limeade ones!

I do have a question for the sugar amounts of the fruit-ade. Shouldn't that be the other way round, I mean, starting with 48 g and going down to 8 g as you add more water?

Thanks for the post!
Bruce, never mind about the sugar, I gotcha now. depending on the sugar amount in the juice you add tbe different amounts of juice to make it 8g/8oz.
Hi Rosie, thanks for the feedback! Let me know what fruit juices you like best in the Fruit-Ade recipe and if you come up with any improvements to the recipe.
Which bottled 100% fruit juices are best for my coconut water hydration drink to improve taste while I play 2 hours of softball in florida's summer heat?
You'll have to experiment with different juices to find out which ones taste best to you when used in a sports drink recipe. The other critical thing is to blend & dilute juices to achieve the optimum sugar concentration in the final recipe so the drink is rapidly absorbed into your body. Please let us know the fruit juices that you like blended into your coconut water hydration recipe.
I'm really excited to try your recipe! However, some of the fruit juices I want to use don't have sugar amounts that fall in your table (23g, 25g, 28g). How do I calculate out what the ratio should be for any sugar amount? Thanks!
Christie, I just estimate for the numbers that fall between the numbers in the table.
This is so great! I've been looking for a natural sports drink recipe, and will give this a shot. I love how you incorporate Nancy Clarke's specs for electrolytes.
Not bad. Not bad at all. I found I wanted to dilute it with water just a little bit more to take the edge off the sweetness. (I used a 100% juice mix by Dole that had pineapple, banana, mango and orange.) Thank you! I love not having to use table sugar.
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