Homemade Hydration Fluids (please do this right!)

If commercially available oral electrolyte solutions are not available, you can make oral electrolyte solutions at home. However, these solutions should only be used temporarily while seeking commercial solutions or medical attention. It is important to understand that errors in making the solution can lead to serious adverse effects. A solution with a little extra water may not be harmful, but using too much salt can worsen diarrhea or may cause hypernatremia. While there are a number of published formulations, one of the more common formulations recommended by the Rehydration Project (www.rehydrate.orgOpens in a new tab.) is:

  • 2.5 mL (1/2 teaspoon) of salt -use a measuring spoons to improve accuracy)
  • 30 mL (2 tablespoons) of sugar (artificial sweeteners should NOT be used as they may increase diarrhea and will not provide sufficient carbohydrates). -use a measuring spoons to improve accuracy)
  • One liter of clean drinking or boiled water

MisterPharmacist Tip: Stir the mixture until the salt and sugar dissolve. Store the liquid in a cool place and discard after 24 hours. Chilling the oral rehydration solution may help mask the taste.


Ref: Rehydration Project. Oral Rehydration Solutions: Made at Home. July 2014. http://rehydrate.org/solutions/homemade.htmOpens in a new tab..