Better-Ade, Healthy Homemade Sports Drink (vegan, refined sugar free)


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better-ade, a healthy homemade sports drink alternative!

This is a pink drink I call better-ade, or in other words, a healthy homemade sports drink alternative. If you played sports when you were younger (or even if not), I’m sure you’ve tried a sports drink before. The colourful, sugary drinks are typically marketed as post-workout drinks, or drinks for athletes. Anyone remember those gatorade ads with famous athletes dripping coloured sweat the same colour as the drink? My personal favourite was the light blue one, and yes, I used to drink them all the time after tennis.

Now those rainbow drinks may aid in hydration, because they contain sugar and electrolytes, and as you may notice, a little bit of a saltiness to it. We’ll get into that later. But what’s not so great, is that a standard 20z gatorade drink contains 36 grams of sugar, and the lower sugar alternative is formulated with sucralose. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that I personally would not consider good for your health. It’s also important to note that those rainbow colours are unfortunately not natural either.homemade sports drink veggiekins

Fortunately, there’s an equally delicious way to re-hydrate and it’s 100% natural too. I call it better-ade. It’s made with healthy, natural plant ingredients, each of which are incredible for your health and hydration in particular. You can enjoy it as a post-workout drink, after a hot summer day, post sauna or while recovering from any kind of sickness. For example, the other day I had food poisoning, and was dehydrated beyond belief when I woke up the next morning. Better-ade to the rescue.

homemade sports drink veggiekins

The main ingredients used to make this healthy homemade sports drink are coconut water, hibiscus, salt and lemon. I’ll also share some optional add-ins for fun variations below, because, you know, flavours are fun.

the details

  • This healthy homemade sports drink is vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar free, food dye free and 100% natural.
  • Enjoy this better-ade as for hydration, or regularly to promote skin health and digestion.
  • Coconut water → is known for its hydrating properties. It contains electrolytes and is rich in potassium, with a natural sweetness. It’s lower in sugar when compared to most sports drinks, but equally, if not more delicious.
  • Hibiscus → has been linked to heart health, and digestive support. It’s rich in vitamin C and also a great hydrating plant with a tasty, tangy flavour.
  • Salt → may sound like a strange addition, but the tiniest pinch will just help to boost the hydrating effects of your betterade. Salts are electrolytes and help tp facilitate hydrating your body, which is why there’s usually a bit of sodium added to most conventional sports drinks. You don’t need to add much at all.
  • Lemon → adds the finishing touch to this drink, but can be omitted if you prefer less tang. Like hibiscus, lemons are rich in vitamin C, and can promote skin health, as well as digestion.

homemade sports drink veggiekins

secrets to success

While the main ingredients and measurements to make this healthy homemade sports drink are listed in the recipe notes, feel free to adjust as you see fit. Some like it sweeter, and predominantly coconut water based, while others like to blend in hydrating fruits like strawberry or watermelon.

If you’d like to adjust the sweetness, I recommend first starting with a high quality coconut water (naturally sweet). If you’d like to sweeten, feel free to add sweetener after that. My favourite brands to use are harmless harvest, and copra coconut water.

Steeping hibiscus is the easiest way to make hibiscus juice or tea. It’s very easy to do at home, if you purchase dry hibiscus petals, but if using a tea bag, try and make sure the only ingredient is hibiscus. To steep dry hibiscus petals, add to hot or warm water and allow to infuse. I usually like to do about 1-2 tablespoons for 3-4 cups of water. The more water you add, the more mild the flavour, so you can always add water later to mellow it out if you’d like.

This drink is best enjoyed with ice, and makes 2 small servings, or 1 large serving. You shouldn’t need to drink very much of it to feel the hydration boost!

if you like this recipe, try…

If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and for a chance to be featured! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too!

Better-Ade, Healthy Homemade Sports Drink (vegan, refined sugar free)

Servings: 1 -2 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
This healthy homemade sports drink is made with 100% natural ingredients. It's hydrating, immune boosting and delicious.


  • 2 cups coconut water no added sugars/ingredients
  • 1/4 cup hibiscus tea
  • 4 lemon slices
  • pinch of pink himalayan salt
  • optional
  • 1 cup watermelon blended
  • 1/2 cup strawberries blended
  • 1/4 cup beet juice
  • sweetener as desired
  • mint as garnish


  • In a large glass, combine all ingredients and serve with ice. If adding blended watermelon or strawberries, blend first, then stir in with other ingredients.
  • Garnish with lemon slices, or other citrus, and mint. For extra flavour infusion, muddle (or crush) these ingredients and let sit in the drink to infuse.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe?Tag @veggiekins on Instagram and hashtag it with #veggiekins

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About Remy

Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.

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