Intro: Sports Drink Copycat Concentrate
Transform your water into a PowerAde/GatorAde copycat with an easy-to-make concentrate. Sports drink are useful to athlethes because the electrolytes and carbohydrates help them refuel and rehydrate.
There are lots of recipes online to make alternative/natural "sports drink", but this one is unique because I use authentic chemical ingredients and concentrate it, so you don't have to store 10L at a time. It's just like the real thing at a fraction of the cost.
Step 1: Ingredients
This recipe is for people who aren't afraid of chemicals, and want to emulate what goes into commercial sports drinks, while saving lots of money. You will need the following:
- ¾ cup table sugar (sucrose)*
- ¼ tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- ½ tsp table salt (sodium chloride)
- 2¼ tsp citric acid (doubles as a preservative)
- Flavours. These are natural and artificial flavour extracts. I used about ¼–½ tsp combined of Lorann Oils. Your mileage will vary depending on what you use. People use these for candy, lip balm, frosting, etc, and you can find them on Amazon or specialty stores.
- Food colouring of your choice, found in most grocery stores.
This recipe is meant to yield 10 liters after being diluted, but we are make a concentrated version to fit inside a smaller bottle. I am using a 710ml (24 oz) Gatorade bottle, but need to leave some room for the other ingredients.
This ratio of dry ingredients to water increases the total volume by around 150ml, I'd guess. So fill your bottle with water, then pour enough out to make room.
(If using a different size bottle, you can keep the same quantity of ingredients but adjust the dilution).
* Personally this recipe is too sweet, but my goal is to replicate the taste. Feel free to reduce the sugar.
Step 2: Mix It Up
Put all the dry ingredients into a pot.
Add the water from your bottle, heat to medium and continue stirring until it's all dissolved. You can continue to simmer to reduce the concentration, if you prefer.
Turn off the heat and add your flavours. I picked pomegranate and strawberry-kiwi, to pair with the red colouring. Be generous with the flavour and colour, since you'll be diluting this mix later.
After it cools, pour it back into the bottle and add your food colouring. Shake vigorously. You're done!
To serve, mix this 1 to 3 -- 3.5 parts cold waterfor instant SportsDrink!®
(Disclaimer: I am in no way claiming this recipe is healthier than regular SportsDrink®. In fact, it is intended to be precisely as unhealthy. If you have them on hand, you could aim for even more authenticity by using a mix of sucrose, fructose and dextrose, and add monopotassium phosphate. Have fun!)