Finding Electrolytes in Orange Juice and Sports Drinks




About: I like to make things.

I had to come up with a science fair project so I decided to play with food and find the stuff that you can generate electricity with, known as electrolytes. While playing with your food you will find out if orange juice has more electrolytes than a sports drink. This is a great project for older kids science projects. It is also is very informative for sports considering that electrolytes are very important to staying heathy and active.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Materials

You will need:
orange juice
a sport drink of you choice (preferably Gatorade)
Bare copper wire, 24 gauge
wire cutters
1 in. plastic tube ( you can remove the insides from a pen and cut to one in.
9-v battery
9-v battery clip ( this is optional but it makes it a lot easier attach the wire to the battery.)
6 in. Wire with alligator clips on both ends (2)
small bowls ceramic, glass, plastic, NOT METAL (3)
masking tape
permanent marker
distilled water
tap water
digital multimeter
paper towel 
alligator clip with out a wire attached

Step 2: Putting the Pieces Together

cut 2 6in. copper wire pieces

wrap 1 wire peice around the plastic pen tube close to the end of the tube and leave about 2 in. of copper wire unwrapped

do the same with the other wire on the opposite end of the tube.
the alligator clips with wire will come with clips on both ends but you will need to cut off one of the clips from the red wire and attach the loose wire to the positive end of your battery using the battery clip.  

cut off one clip from the black alligator clips with wire

attach the clip to one of the copper wires that is wrapped around the tube.

attach the wire from the clips to the negative end of the battery with the battery clip

Step 3: Attach It to the Multimeter

by now you will have a alligator that is attached to a red wire.

clip that to the positive wire of the multimeter.

with the negative wire from the multimeter attach it to the other copper wire that is on the tube using an alligator clip.

Now you are done creating your measuring tool. It should look like the one in the pictures.

Step 4: Measuring the Electrolytes

set your multimeter to 200 microamps

pour the 4 drinks into separate bowls

put only the plastic tube and copper wires into the drinks one at a time ( orange juice, gatorade, distilled water, and tap water

read the number on the screen of your multimeter.

the drink that has the highest number on the screen after putting the tube in it has the most electrolytes. 

You are done playing with your food! I have my results on the next slide if you are going to cheat and not do the experiment.

Step 5: The Results

Orange juice: 24.6 

Gatorade: 20.4

Distilled water: 0.1

Tap water: 3.1

The orange juice had the most electrolytes and can be healthier depending on what your your body needs. The results show that It would be healthiest to drink Orange juice before a sport game or work out then drink gatorade afterward.

Education Contest

Second Prize in the
Education Contest

Food Science Challenge

Participated in the
Food Science Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Book Character Costume Challenge

      Book Character Costume Challenge
    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Cardboard Speed Challenge

      Cardboard Speed Challenge

    22 Discussions


    10 days ago

    hello, I am busy helping my son with this project, I need to understand how do you that the measure of electrolytes taken is too much or too bad; since is either of this measure that may course inbalance in your body.


    3 years ago

    can you explain the use of tap and distilled water? make it really easy to understand

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Those trials are really there just to show that the orange juice and gatorade have a considerable amount of electrolytes- more than the waters.


    3 years ago

    Hi, I'm doing this project now and I'm having a little bit of trouble with the small tube. In the images is the small blue tube the one from the pen? How did you take it out?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    It's from the pen. You just take the parts form a cheap pen out and use the hollow plastic tube.


    Reply 3 years ago

    It's not really important to the results of the experiment. So whatever the pen's diameter is will be the tube's diameter.


    3 years ago

    What does orange juice contain for it to have more electrolytes? And, what is the unit of measurement for your results?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Electrolytes can be found in many elements- the most common being sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
    The multimeter can measure voltage, current, or resistance. The best unit of measurement to properly display the data in this experiment is Siemens.


    3 years ago

    I did this project! This is great, thank you so much themoose64! I had so much fun making it and you explained it so well. Just one question, is it mandatory to do the distilled water? Where did you get your multimeter?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    The distilled water trial is not really needed to see the difference between the orange juice and Gatorade. However, it is beneficial to see how much more electrolytes you have in these drinks than in the water. It serves as a control trial, but is not necessary. I found my multimeter at Lowes for around $15. Its nice to hear that you liked this project! Thank you!


    Reply 3 years ago

    The distilled water is like the "control trial" where you test out what the electrolyte content would be without out all the addatives that are in the Gatorade and orange juice. The tap water trial is a similar trial. By finding out what is in the usual tap water and distilled water you can compare the amount of electrolytes in those to the amount in the orange juice to see how much more electrolyte content is in those drinks than the water.


    3 years ago

    how do you measure the electrolytes please reply as soon as possible.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    it will be the number that appears on the screen of the multimeter.