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What’s the Best Sports Drink for Rehydration?

How to use fresh citrus juice to make an awesome all natural rehydration beverage

Freshly squeezed citrus juices are a great way to refuel and rehydrate.

Summer temperatures are rising. During and after exercise, you need to make sure to hydrate and refuel your body with the electrolytes it loses when you sweat. Next time you come home from the gym or your run, try making your own sports drink with citrus juice! It’s a simple but effective alternative to the store-bought bottled or powdered varieties – without the artificial coloring and flavors.


The best sports drink is the one you’ll enjoy drinking the most and feel good about, because that will help ensure proper hydration and help maintain fluid balance. If you’re preparing sports drinks for family members or for competitive endurance athletes you also want to be mindful of artificial ingredients, added sugar and other preservatives being added.

There are many different flavored factory-produced sports drinks available in a variety of flavors, such as fruit punch, lemon lime, and even watermelon lime. There are also many different options for adding hydration powder to plain water. While many sports drink are high quality products and support athletic performance, they are not natural beverages and may contain artificial sweeteners, added preservatives and/or unknown quantities of added sugar.


At Citrus America, we believe fresh, natural beverages and high quality ingredients provide the best flavor while also providing the best nutritional value – without the artificial flavors and preservatives. Click HERE if you’d like to learn Why Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice Taste So Good. Fresh orange juice and fresh coconut water are great examples of Mother Nature providing excellent, all-natural packaging that keeps the natural beverage fresh and healthy until you’re ready to drink it enjoy the natural flavors and a healthy energy boost.

Sports beverages should not just be about replacing electrolytes lost through sweat, athletic performance, proper hydration, supporting intense exercise, and long workouts. The best sports drinks can also provide natural essential vitamins and micro-nutrients while also tasting great and making people feel good about what they’re drinking.

A person dressed in athletic wear, including a red cap, blue shirt, black leggings, and red and black sneakers, sits on a guardrail by the road while drinking from an orange bottle of refreshing citrus juice. The sun is setting in the background, casting a warm light over the scene.


Making your own healthy sports drink is easy and requires just a few ingredients. Basically, a refueling beverage needs to provide three things: water, electrolytes, and carbohydrates, says registered dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner in an article published in the Chicago Tribune. According to Medline, electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that affect your muscle function and other important processes. Common electrolytes include potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and since these are not contained in plain water, it is important to replenish with liquids that do.

The article lists some great and easy-to-make recipes using citrus juice based on different fruits: Blatner’s homemade sports drink consists of water, orange juice, honey, and salt. Another recipe suggested by sports nutritionist Nancy Clark is made up of water, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. And the Yoga Journal recommends a lemon-juice based refueling drink that adds water, lemon juice, honey, and salt. All recipes with the suggested measurements are listed at the end of this blog. These beverages are easy to make, healthy, great tasting, and they do not contain any artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, artificial food coloring, or artificial preservatives – which are frequently found in the store-bought varieties.


But what about replacing those electrolytes you lose during sports? Can orange juice really give you what you need after exercise? Yes, it can. Experiments show that citrus juices contain high levels of electrolytes, making them extremely suitable for usage as sports drinks. In a very interesting science experiment, a student at Franklin Fine Arts Center tested a homemade electrolyte beverage, what the student calls Suero Oral, against a popular sports drink and showed that conductivity is indeed higher. In addition, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, orange juice is particularly high in potassium – as is tangerine juice, for those looking for more sweetness. Refueling with a homemade citrus-juice based sports drink has added nutritional benefits, such as vitamins and fiber. 

If you can’t get fresh fruit or are traveling, you might not be able to make your own natural sports drink. That shouldn’t stop you from staying hydrated. HERE is a good overview of the most popular sports drinks and favorite flavors widely available. This article covers well-known popular beverage brands such as Gatorade, Propel Flavored Electrolyte Water, Powerade, Vitamin Water, Scivation, Bodyarmor, Roar Organic, and Noom. These are all high quality products that will help with proper hydration.

But, if you’re looking to replace electrolytes, prevent cramping, boost athletic performance, support endurance activities and provide healthy nutrition – all while making a fantastic tasting, all natural beverage, then you should prepare your own natural beverage to give your mind and body a boost.

Be sure to use freshly squeezed juice for the best flavor and freshness. It’s nutritious, delicious, all natural, and, best of all, you’ll know every ingredient you put in.



Blatner’s Homemade Sports Drink:

  • 3 ½ cups of water
  • ½ cup of orange juice
  • 2 ½ tablespoons of honey
  • ¼ tablespoons of salt

Yoga Journal’s Electrolyte Replacement Drink:

  • 4 cups of hot water
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

Clark’s homemade sports drink:

  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of hot water (to dissolve the sugar and salt)
  • ¼ cup of orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 3 ½ cups of cold water
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

All of these drinks have about 50 calories in an 8-ounce serving.

If you’re making smaller volumes of the above recipes, then a small hand press or citrus squeezer is great. If you’ll be juicing larger volumes, like for college or professional sports teams, endurance athletes, or for youth sports teams, then an automatic commercial citrus juicer would be the right choice.


DON’T SWEAT IT - Keep it easy!

Step 1
Squeeze the required amount of citrus juice

Step 2
Follow one of the recipes above

Step 3
Enjoy your beverage!

Next time you go exercise, don’t just reach for the nearest bottle of ready-made artificially flavored and colored sports drink. Squeeze a couple of oranges, lemons or limes to refuel with your own delicious, homemade beverage. Try it and see what recipes are your favorite and let us know!

About Citrus America– Citrus America has been driving innovation and quality in the juicing segment for more than a decade in North America and the Caribbean. We’re the exclusive master distributor for Citrocasa and have driven many innovations and quality improvements in juicing equipment. In addition to equipment solutions, we provide tailored training and support strategies to help our customers earn Healthy Profits.

About Citrocasa – Citrocasa has been the pioneer in producing the most innovative and highest quality food grade stainless steel commercial citrus juicing equipment to the grocery, hotel and restaurant since 2005 across Europe. The Citrocasa 8000 Series was launched in 2005, with the 8000XB and the 8000SB. The 8000SB-ATS was launched in 2013. The Citrocasa Fantastic Series was launched in 2010 with the Fantastic M/AS. The Fantastic F/SB followed in 2011.

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