Is It Possible To Make Your Own Gatorade?

Gatorade dominates its competition, much like its many sponsors dominate the sporting world. Forbes reports that Gatorade owns nearly 50% of the global sports drink market, and it handily won our survey on the best sports drinks with just over 51% of the vote, a full 30% higher than second place Vitamin Water. Gatorade has endorsement deals with some of the greatest athletes of all time, including Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Tiger Woods, and Lionel Messi (via USA Today Sports). 

The story of Gatorade's rise to dominance begins in 1965, at the University of Florida, whose teams just happen to be called the Gators. According to HowStuffWorks, team members struggled with massive weight loss and heat stroke, even while drinking lots of water. Dr. Robert Cade of the UF medical school realized that the athletes were losing huge amounts of carbohydrates and electrolytes through their sweat, and they needed a drink that could replenish them. Cade's first effort was just water with sugar and salt, later adding some lemon juice to improve the flavor. Now there are over 20 Gatorade Flavors, but you could add even more by making your own.

Making Gatorade at home

The basic elements of Gatorade, and other sports drinks for that matter, are pretty straightforward. The Harvard School of Public Health explains that sports drinks aim to replenish three things — fluids, carbohydrates, and electrolytes. The fluid aspect is straightforward because we all need water to survive. As far as carbohydrates go, those are replenished with sugar. Lastly, you have electrolytes. 

Commercials for Gatorade and other sports drinks emphasize the importance of electrolytes but don't really explain what they are. Cedars-Sinai reveals that electrolytes are minerals, like sodium and calcium, that our bodies need. Now that we know the key elements of Gatorade, let's find out how to make some. 

The good folks at America's Test Kitchen put their heads together and came up with a super simple formula for homemade Gatorade that you can easily customize to suit your tastes. The core components are simple. Start with carbs in the form of sugar, and electrolytes in the form of salt (they note that other electrolytes, such as calcium and potassium, are better achieved through a healthy diet). Blend these up with some frozen fruit for flavor, and you'll get your own "Gatorade" powder that you can mix with water whenever you need a boost.