Should I drink sports drinks when I exercise?

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iStock_000019398354SmallWater is usually the best fluid for your body. When you exercise intensely or in the heat for longer than an hour, though, you may need to replace the carbohydrates used to fuel exercise and the electrolytes lost in sweat. Drinking sports drinks (such as Gatorade® or Powerade®) that have carbohydrates and electrolytes is a great way to hydrate during exercise that lasts longer than an hour.

Make sure to pay special attention to how much you’re sweating; the more you sweat, the more you’ll need to drink to stay hydrated. If you’re working out for less than an hour, water and a well-balanced meal after your workout will replace the fluid and energy that your body used while exercising. Sports drinks such as Gatorade G2®, Propel®, Vitamin Water 10®, and Powerade Zero® provide electrolytes, but they’re either low in carbohydrates or have no carbohydrates in them, so they are fine to drink during shorter workouts.