I am interested in home-made sports drinks. I have used "Hammer Nutrition" products, but I could probably put it together myself, just by using the key ingredients. Anyhow, has anyone done this? And, how do you determine the carb/fat/protein + vitamin/mineral ratios?

A couple of years ago I ran across an FRS ad on a cycling site. Since Lance was promoting it, I took a look at the claims. Basically, the FRS products contain sugar, some vitamins, plus supplements of Quercetin and Catechin. The main benefit claim for FRS turns out to be the quercetin.

So I came up with a simple concoction of honey sweetened tea, and also pop a multivitamin before a ride. (Tea is one of the highest sources of quercetin.) And carry along a high cocoa bar for catechins. (Cocoa is high in catechin.) So, all in all way cheaper than buying FRS.

Does anyone make their own sports drinks? And if so, what do you put in it? I personally dislike most commercial sports drinks and so for electrolytes, when needed, I use Endurolyte tablets.

Maltodextrin will go into the mix. However, how do I formulate the rest of it?

Edit: This was recently downvoted. Maybe it's a bad question?

  • 1
    IMO, there's one downvote and thirteen upvotes - don't sweat it too much. Mine is one of the upvotes, I think it's an interesting question. Just guessing here, but maybe you got a downvote because of the phrasing "Does anyone make their own sports drinks?" Kinda polling-the-community wording. The intent of the question is quite obviously "How do you make your own sports drink?" Maybe rephrase asking the advantages and disadvantages of different ingredients? Oct 3, 2011 at 12:29
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    So tea is good for quercetin and cocoa is good for catechin? I think you've just proved that a chocolate teapot isn't useless after all!
    – PhilJ
    Oct 3, 2011 at 13:11
  • Water with a little squirt of fresh lemon juice. May 1, 2012 at 17:04
  • Regarding the use of tea: Tea contains caffeine, which is diuretic. Isn't it a bad idea drinking something that makes you piss more during exercise?
    – Jørgen R
    May 2, 2012 at 7:33
  • @jurgemaister - I don't find evidence that moderate caffeine consumption is detrimental. Anecdotally, I've never found it to be a problem.
    – user313
    May 2, 2012 at 18:21

3 Answers 3


Maltodextrin. It is basically pure glucose, which is the only sugar that your muscles can use directly without converting, so it's just pure energy. It also has no flavor or sweetness, so it is completely inoffensive, and you can sweeten (or not) to your desired level. Look in any sport beverage and it will contain maltodextrin.

A lot of home brewing places sell maltodextrin and you can also get it from websites that cater to racing dogs (e.g. for the iditerod) as a dog supplement, but it's totally safe for human consumption.

  • I may try maltodextrin at some point. Since I'm in PDX, there are plenty of home brewer suppliers.
    – user313
    Sep 13, 2010 at 23:51

One of the recommendations for heavily training athletes now is to drink a fair amount of carbohydrate within an hour of finishing, in order to replenish glycogen stores in your muscle cells. Furthermore, the uptake is better in the presence of protein, so there are 'after ride' drink mixes you can spend more hard-earned $$$ on. My substitute: chocolate milk! About 16 ounces, and important to take within an hour of riding. Stopping at a coffee shop and getting a mocha does the job equally well.

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    Chocolate milk is one of my faves after rides. From what I've read, it's supposed to be almost perfect.
    – user313
    Sep 13, 2010 at 23:49
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    And with espresso added, more perfect.
    – Jay
    Sep 18, 2010 at 7:40

There are two categories of sports drinks as far as endurance folks are concerned:

  • During-the-ride hydration for replacing water and electrolytes, and providing some supplemental carbs and sugar to help keep the fat-burn primed and avoid bonking.

  • Post-ride drinks for recovery. These typically include some protein in the form of dairy products. I suppose that is why regen is popular. It is (or tastes identical to) chocolate milk-- of course folks are going to like it.

The most practical solution I've found is to buy sports drinks in powdered form and mix them before the ride. This makes it easy to consistently dial-in the right amount of dilution (can't stand the stuff "straight").

Powdered gatorade has worked fine for me. YMMV. I think that creating a sports drink from scratch would be too much of a "science project"!

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