Sports drinks like to call themselves things like "fuel for athletes," which definitely sounds cool. The only problem with that slogan is that although endurance athletes do need electrolytes, conventional sports drinks don't supply enough to make them a worthwhile choice. "They'll need more electrolytes than what they get," Kimball says. Most popular sports drinks are "just sugar, water, and artificial colors," she adds.
For everyone else, the scant amount of electrolytes isn't necessary, and the sugar contains a bunch of empty calories that negate the effects of the physical activity you’re recovering from. So basically, nobody benefits from drinking this stuff.
"You do need electrolytes, but not through a sports drink," Kimball says. "You can get them from a KIND bar, half a turkey sandwich, even a fold-over peanut butter and jelly sandwich has natural sodium. V8 juice or coconut water are natural sources of electrolytes, and coconut water has a lot of potassium."