Home-made Oral Rehydration Solution – AKA Electrolyte Cocktail

ORScloseThe distinctive taste of Gastrolyte, Hydralyte, or your preferred brand of oral rehydration solution is unmistakable. I have been lucky enough to visit India a couple of times (LOVE India), and so am familiar with this. So when my plans were thrown into disarray today due to a vomiting bub last night, I decided to do a bit of DIY.

Of course you should always consult your health care practitioner, but in situations where you would normally use some sort of rehydration liquid or powder, here is a home-made option. Not only will you save yourself a trip down to the chemist, but you will avoid the artificial additives and aspartame too – great! It is also wonderful post-workout to replenish and rehydrate, although I would recommend you tone down the sweetener and salt a little in this case.

The main elements to be replenished are sodium and glucose, with potassium and other minerals also playing their role. The sodium in this recipe comes in the form of natural, unrefined sea salt. This kind of salt (as opposed to table salt) is vital to a number of processes in the body, including carrying nutrients to your cells, regulating blood pressure, assisting connection between the brain and the muscles, and it is a major component of blood plasma, lymph and extracellular fluid. A lovely good quality salt such as a Himalayan sea salt has a beautiful natural balance of sodium, chloride, potassium and magnesium, to name a few, giving it alone the ability to restore lost nutrients. For the glucose component I have chosen honey or rapadura sugar (panela). Often we are searching for a low GI sweetener, but for the purposes of getting the goods back into my little one, I wanted a faster result. And by choosing rapadura sugar you are consuming a less refined product and therefore also maintaining more minerals. Honey is also ideal.


You can make this straight up, or add in other bits and bobs. I added mint for flavour and for its anti-nausea properties, and pomegranate seeds, because they were in my kitchen, but also for the added vitamin C and flavour. If you are using this as a base for a post-workout rather than post-illness drink, feel free to add in chia seeds to the mix, as they will add further electrolyte goodness, along with a protein hit. I used coconut water as a base as again it has a wonderful natural balance of electrolytes, in particular a good injection of potassium.

I have based the ratios of my recipe on the World Health Organisation’s recommendations.

[headline]Home-made Oral Rehydration Solution – AKA Electrolyte Cocktail[/headline]

Makes 2 cups

500ml coconut water (or plain water if not available)

1/4 tsp good quality celtic sea salt or himalayan sea salt

2 1/2 – 3 tbsp honey

3 tbsp lemon juice

Optional extras: fresh mint, pomegranate, chamomile, berries

Combine all ingredients and sip as needed.

So there you have it, hopefully this will come in handy one day! x


15 thoughts on “Home-made Oral Rehydration Solution – AKA Electrolyte Cocktail”

    • Hi Anna, Thanks for the lovely comment. If it’s just for post work out I would even start with a quarter and work it out from there. Even coconut water alone is great for rehydration! x

  • If one uses plain water and omit the flavourings would this work for pet???
    My 13 yrs old dog is not eating and it was suggested to give her Gastrolyte.

    • Hi Phyllis, I don’t know much about animal nutrition, but I can’t see why not. You might want to tone down the amount of salt and sugar though, and see how that goes. 🙂

  • Thank You! My 2 yr old is having a virus cold at the moment & what does manage to go in, goesn’t always stay in, poor thing. You can tell his system is getting a beating & I wanted something quick & easy to give that he would actually take. So while he’s having a 20 min restless nap, I’m going to make up a batch for him.

    • Oh poor darling! I hope it helps. You can always make it up at half strength to see how he goes with it, as it’s quite strong as per the recipe 🙂

  • Hey Meg I have dealt with dehydration my entire life an am almost 20 right now the drs have me on 1 tablespoon salt 1 cup Gatorade an 2 cups water but it is so gross I barely get it down im a powerade an Gatorade an juice an sprite drinker do you know what would be a goo ors that didn’t taste so salty where I could balance the sugar an salt an still have it taste good cause now I taste almost all salt no sugar an almost no flavor an have to get in 3 liters a day hopefully you have some ideas in advance thank you.

  • I have only 100 centermiters of gut and as a result i must take at least 2 to 4 packets of gastrolyte a day
    would your receipe be ok for me to take in place of the gastrolyte
    thank you Patricia

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