Homemade electrolyte mix, 1-10 cents/serving

Yup, doing a larger total quantity is the way for sure, to even things out and dampen any measuring/ratio errors. Making a liquid solution of it is still beneficial though, without actually testing, it is hard to know for sure that a mix of powders hasn’t settled in some way, is evenly dispersed etc.

It did occur to me now that some substances like the calcium for example, may not dissolve well especially at higher concentrations. I’d try mixing the concentrate anyway and putting it in something like a ketchup squeeze bottle. Whatever formulation that would make it simple to just add a tablespoon of that shaken liquid to each of my water bottles.

Hi and thanks. This had been an informative thread

Just wanted to clarify, on July 10th you said sodium was primary and then sodium was a distant second. You meant potassium was a distant second, right?

I might try to make one of these. If I understood you correctly, would you bother with the potassium? Or is sodium alone sufficient?


Yes, that is what I meant - I have edited that post to correct the statement.

What about chloride? I see a lot of electrolyte powder mixes have chloride. Does this mix offer chloride? If not how do I add this? Thank you

Paging @Dr_Alex_Harrison :slight_smile:
I can’t comment on the need to replenish chloride, although it is my understanding that we primarily lose sodium chloride in sweat.

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He uses sodium citrate to replace electrolytes. approximately 2 tsp (2000mg) per 310 grams of carbs.

Yup. I have moved to using sodium citrate, plus potasium chloride for potasium. (I still add the other electrolytes since I have them, but would not go buy at this point.) Maybe I’ll update my post regarding my current formula (slightly changed as ‘lite salt’ doesn’t seem to be stocked around here any more, but conveniently an alternate is pure potasium chloride.)

I was hoping he could comment on the chloride question, as we do seem to lose that along with sodium in sweat, however it never seems to be talked about regarding replenishment (which makes me think it isn’t required.)

We don’t add chloride. But we do get some from whatever flavoring (sports mix of some kind) we’re using at the time. If chloride is important, it’s minimally so, and the research on it is scant!

It’s much much more common for folks to have too much chloride (and just too high of osmolarity… ie too many molecules per liter) than to have too little, in my experience.

Sorry! This is totally a “I don’t have an absolute answer to this one” situation. I should. Just backlogged on digging into a few other more pressing things in the literature and app dev!


In 24 oz and only 1/4 heaping tsp will give you all that amount listed above? The 525 mg sodium, 60 mg magnesium, 150 mg potassium, and 90 mg calcium. I just want to be sure I am understanding this correctly.

The update to reflect these would be nice. So would the recipe be the same amounts for the sodium citrate 311 g? And 155 g of potassium chloride in place of the epsom salt?

Hi @Rebecca_W I hope you find this helpful.
Epsom salt is for Magnesium, separate from the potassium chloride in the lite salt for the potassium.
If I were doing this over again, I would not have bought the calcium carbonate or magnesium sulfate, as I don’t think those really matter.

Here are my rough notes on the latest batch that I made, using sodium citrate, and Morton lite salt. Recently the Morton lite salt is no longer available locally, but I did find another ‘salt replacement’ product at the grocery store that was just Potassium Chloride, so I will use that for my next batch.

My target values per liter:
Note that this is my not very educated guess based on the proportions in other mixes. I’m a fairly heavy sweater, so I figure about 1000mg/liter is a reasonable starting point for me.
1000mg sodium
200mg potasium
50 mg calcium
50 mg magnesium

Here are the molecular weights I used:
MgSO4 is 20.1% Mg by weight. 24.3/(24.3 + 32.1 + 416)
sodium citrate is 27% Na by weight 23
3/260 anhydrous, 23.4% 23*3/294 dihydrate
*** Sodium citrate likely to be hydrated unless specifically dried.
lite salt is 25% K , 21% Na by weight (This is Morton lite salt, which is NaCl and KCl)
CaCO3 (calcium carbonate) is 62.5% Ca by weight

Here are the calculations per dose:
50mg Mg = 50/.201= 249mg MgSO4
50 mg Ca = 50/.625 = 80mg CaCO3
200 mg K = 200/.25 = 800mg lite salt. ALSO provides 162 grams Na
(1000-162=838)mg Na = (858/.234=3666 mg hydrated sodium citrate) (838/.27 = 3103mg sodium citrate Anhydrous)
4.80g/ 1000mg sodium serving (expected per 1 liter mixes)
1/2 tsp == 3.6gm = 750mg sodium serving, default per 750ml bottle
NOTE: last batch with lite salt, now using “Nu-Salt Salt Substitute”, which is pure KCl

Here is the 100x size that I actually measured and mixed:
100x batch:
25g MgS04
8g calcium carb
80g Morton lite salt
367g sodium citrate (hydrated)

I then mixed/ground it in a bladed coffee grinder. You can also use a food processor for larger batches, or likely a blender. You will need to do something like this as the Epsom salt comes in large crystals, and you want to make sure this is well mixed and and clumps broken up.
The 1/2 tsp == 3.6g is somewhat approximate, but that’s OK, as +/- 20% is likely fine - it’s not like this is medicine or something :slight_smile:


Thank you very much

Shouldn’t there be glucose in there too since sodium needs glucose to absorbed? All oral rehydration formulas have glucose in them too for that reason

From a maximal hydration perspective, I think you are correct that some sugar is helpful. I think for a DIY pedialite type drink this would be important.
What started this thread (3 years ago) was me trying to make a Nuun substitute, as I was using a lot of those for training indoors. This was during my ‘I don’t need nutrition on the bike’ phase, when I used just this electrolyte mix and the ‘True Lemon’ flavoring for a calorie free electrolyte drink.
I’m now more in a ‘carb the F up on the bike phase’, and add this to the gatorade + sucrose mix that Dr. Alex Harrison talks about.
From a purely practical mixing/storage perspective, I think it is easier to keep the electrolytes mixed/stored separately from the sugar even if you always use it with sugar. It gets hard to properly mix large-ish quantities of powder evenly.

Hi, are you putting about 1/2 tsp into 24 oz? I’m just a little confused because I did go listen to that video with Alex Harrison and he says that, at least for 2+ hr workouts, to use approximately 60g gatorade powder and 60g sugar. And the instructions for the gatorade powder itself are to use about 3.3 tablespoons for a 24 oz bottle of water, which is about 41 grams. Would it be safe to up the dosage on this? I used your lite salt recipe (bought it before I read the whole thread :/) and I’ve just seen a few things about it not being terribly safe in large quantities. I can throw it out and start over but was wondering if you had any thoughts on this.

Hi @Sharon_Ditter

Yes, I am putting about 1/2 tsp into 24oz, but this is just the electrolytes. This with a little flavoring, such as trulemon, makes this a substitute for things like Nuun tablets, which are just water and electrolytes, no calories. This is the context in which this thread was started.
For drinks with carbs in them, I will add some gatorade powder and sucrose, in addition to the electrolytes. There are also some electrolytes in the gatorade, but I generally use below the recommended concentration of the Gatorade powder so this is a small enough amount that I don’t account for it.

Regarding safety of potassium chloride, I can’t comment on that. It is sold in shakers as a salt substitute, and from my notes SIS tablets provide the potassium from potassium chloride, so I am comfortable with the amounts used in hydration products. Sodium is by far the most important ingredient from what I understand, so in practice there is likely little to no benefit from adding the potassium.

I think this thread: Fellow indecisive people... some useful perspective on decision making
explains a lot about why I made this recipe more complicated than required :slight_smile:

On long rides I’m using Precision Hydration 1500 because its easy to carry, and I bought a supply on Black Friday for a great deal. Here is the label:



based on this post I made last year:

for everyday training its easy to come close to PH 1500 formula by simply adding the following to my water bottle:

  • 1/2 teaspoon sodium citrate
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (= 6 scoops using the same 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon from above)

Takes about a minute after each ride, and its a simple/cheap/easy mix to replenish lost sodium, with the sugar for better absorption.


Yeah, I…completely relate to the indecisive moniker :sweat_smile:

I guess I was thinking that 1/2 tsp seemed a little low to me when you compare it with the higher quantity of powder per ounce that brands recommend, even considering the added sugars in those drinks…but maybe they are upping the basic salt levels as well, and of course there are all the additives to keep them dry and such!

I drank 24 oz today and started with the heaping 1/4 teaspoon, but then I added at least another 1/2 teaspoon or more. I don’t want to overdo it. Maybe I will just add a little extra table salt and sugar, and see how I feel on that. Thank you for all your tips! :slightly_smiling_face:

@Sharon_Ditter the main reason many electrolyte supps are so high volume (large scoops) is the carbs.
They’ll sell more product if it feels like they’re giving you more, so they add carb powders and flavor, to be able to sell tasty “salt” concoctions, even though the salt in them makes up <<10% of the serving size or weight.

You might also find this handy:

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