Gatorade, Powerade, and all the new brands coming out everyday offering sports drinks have both positive and negative on your body. When you’re just sitting around not exercising, these sugary drinks could do more harm than good. But, when it comes to exercise, these drinks do wonders to replenish your body’s electrolytes and more.

How Sports Drinks Work

The three main words that get thrown around when talking about sports drinks are electrolytes, carbohydrates, and calories. Electrolytes, also known as a combination of sodium, chloride, and potassium, are important to make sure your body’s cells are working properly. Regular sweating won’t affect your body’s electrolytes, but intense exercising will. You can mainly keep your electrolytes level by staying hydrated and eating well, but when you workout hard and begin to sweat a lot, you have the chance to lose too many electrolytes.

Sports drinks are great for replenishing electrolytes you’ll lose during exercingin, and the added sugar will give you a boost in energy to finish out your workout strong. Also, if you’re tracking calories, remember that these sports drinks do have calories you’ll need to track. If you’re worried about calories, stick to good old water.

Water Versus Sports Drinks

When should you reach for a sports drink or when should you just stick with water? Well, it all depends on the workout that you’re doing. One one hand, proper hydration through your day is one of the best ways to protect your body. Most people don’t workout hard enough that your body needs added electrolytes. On the other hand, intense workouts like weight lifting and high intensity training are both exercises that could use the added electrolytes because of how much you will sweat.

So before you reach for a sports drink, ask yourself: did I workout for over an hour and sweat profusely. If the answer is no, regular water should do the trick. 

Sports Drinks With Caffeine

Redbull may give you wings, and in the right scenario, can have benefits to your body for exercising. Caffeine is a non-harmful stimulant that will give it’s drinkers performance-enhancing benefits (better motor skills, alertness and contracting) which are helpful to many gym goers. Caffeinated sports drinks can do wonders, as long as you don’t mind the jitters that come from them.

If you’re reaching for a sugary, caffeinated sports drink keep in mind the added carbohydrates, sodium, and calories that you are also putting into your body. 

Whether you love a cold Gatorade after a workout or you’re sticking with water, make sure to check out a free Omni Fight Club class near you, where the water’s always free.