Homemade Citrus Sports Drink Recipe

This homemade citrus sports drink will give you the energy and hydration you need to finish your run or workout strong. Want more? Check out my posts on how to fuel a long run, and what to eat before and after a run.

citrus homemade sports drink

The summer heat is officially on its way, and many of you will soon be ramping up training for fall marathons. This means it’s the perfect time to share one of my favorite recipes from my Nutrition for Runners Program (<-get started for free!): this easy homemade sports drink recipe.

If you’ll be running over about an hour, it’s important to fuel during your run, ideally in the form of simple carbohydrates that are quickly and easily digested and turned into energy. As you exercise and sweat, you lose fluids and sodium, so it’s also important to replenish these while you’re working out, especially if you’ll be running for well over an hour. For a quick rough estimate of how many carbohydrates you should take in while on a long run, divide your body weight in pounds by 4. This will give you a good starting point for the grams of carbs you should aim to take in per hour (for runs over 1 hour).

In the winter months, I tend to stick with water and gels/gummies or real food fuel to meet my needs, but in the summer heat, a good sports drink can really hit the spot – and help to avoid any uncomfortable GI situations or dehydration and muscle cramps.

Homemade sports drink

There are three key components to an effective sports drink: fluid, electrolytes, and carbohydrates.

To stay adequately hydrated, you’ll want to take in about 16 to 20 oz. (~475 to 600 mL) of water/fluid per hour. This number will vary based on how much you sweat and how hot it is outside, but it’s a good starting place and you can adjust as needed. Depending how heavy and salty your sweat is, you may also need to take in some sodium; there’s a little added to this recipe to keep you covered on that front. (Most energy gels/gummies also include some sodium.)

homemade sports drink 3

All the ingredients in this recipe work together to keep you hydrated and energized during your run. Orange and lemon (or lime) juice provide fluid and simple carbohydrates that are easy to digest, resulting in a quick blood sugar boost for immediate energy. Pure maple syrup ranks low on the glycemic index, so the carbohydrates from maple syrup are digested at a slower rate, resulting in longer-lasting energy. Water and coconut water both provide fluid, and coconut water is also a source of potassium, which helps maintain fluid balance and cell function, along with sodium. I’d suggest adding the optional coconut water for particularly long runs or hard workouts because of the extra carbs and electrolytes.

Serves 2     adjust servings

Homemade Citrus Sports Drink

Prep Time 5 MINUTES Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time 5 mins Total Time


  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups water (or 1 cup water + 1 cup coconut water)
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  1. Add all ingredients into a large bottle and shake vigorously until combined.


You guys know I’m normally extremely anti-calorie counting, but for the purpose of sports nutrition, it’s important to know that you’re taking in enough calories/carbs during a workout. For that reason, I’ve included the nutritionals for this recipe below. It’s really hard to eat intuitively when you’re in the middle of a super long run. :)

Nutrition information per serving when made using water: 87 calories, 0.2g fat, 142mg sodium, 197mg potassium, 22g carbohydrate, 0.2g fiber, 18g sugar, 0.6g protein.

Nutrition information per serving when made using half water, half coconut water: 108 calories, 0.2g fat, 155mg sodium, 443mg potassium, 27g carbohydrate, 0.2g fiber, 23g sugar, 0.6g protein.

homemade sports drink 2

If you’ve got a long/tough workout on the schedule this weekend (or anytime this summer!), give this homemade citrus sports drink recipe a shot! It’s a great real food variation on commercial citrus sports drinks and in my opinion is much more delicious. :) I hope you love it, too.

Interested in learning more about sports nutrition, fueling right without driving yourself crazy, and getting additional sport-specific recipes? Check out my Nutrition for Runners Program. It also includes training plans!

I’ll leave you with some related information/posts:

    Have a great Memorial Day holiday weekend! I’m taking Monday off, so I’ll see you guys back here on Tuesday. :)


  1. 1

    Ohh this sounds great! I love citrus drinks!

  2. 2

    Love this-thanks for sharing! I haaaate Gatorade/PowerAde etc. so I will definitely be trying this recipe out soon!

  3. 3

    Yum! That look so refreshing! It’s definitely worth a try the next time I go out in the hot sun on a run.

  4. 4

    Excellent! Such a great alternative to Gatorade and those sugar-filled sports drinks. Thank you for sharing. I will be sure to try this!

  5. 5
    Roadrunner says

    Thanks, very timely!

  6. 6

    This looks delicious. I’m going to have to try this recipe since I always find myself super dehydrated and lethargic in the summer. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. 7

    Sounds refreshing!! Love tasty hydration! :)

  8. 8

    Hey, I tried these energy drinks recipe and it works just awesome. It is far better than all those chemical flavored energy drinks in the market. Thanks for sharing.


  1. […] carbohydrates that your body will break down for fuel during exercise. It’s also featured in my Homemade Citrus Sport Drink recipe, in […]

  2. […] Homemade Citrus Energy Drink – Love this idea! Need to try it. […]

  3. […] Food: No Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake / 10 Helpful Charts for Bakers / Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars / Sesame Tofu Salad / Cucumber Sesame Noodles / Homemade Citrus Sports Drink […]

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.