1. Remember that most sports drinks contain carbohydrate and electrolytes
Traditional sports drinks contain between 20-40g of carbs per 500ml bottle, as well as a range of electrolytes to promote hydration. Such formulations are often provided in ready-to-drink bottles (e.g. Lucozade Sport, Powerade, Gatorade etc) or as ready-to-mix powders (e.g. SiS GO Electrolyte, CNP Pro Hydrate.)
2. Note that low-calorie sports drinks contain electrolytes only
Low-calorie sports drinks do not contain any significant energy but do contain electrolytes. Such drinks can help maintain hydration better than plain water and are especially useful when aiming to use more fat to fuel your training. Good practical examples of these are SiS GO Hydro capsules that are flavoured, effervescent capsules that can simply be dropped and dissolved in 500ml of water.
3. Carbohydrate sports drinks should not be consumed as stand-alone drinks
Similar to fizzy drinks, sports drinks should also not be consumed as a stand-alone drink throughout the day. Indeed, the sugar (i.e. glucose) contained in carbohydrate sports drinks simply represents additional calories that will make it harder to lose weight.
4. Use carbohydrate sports drinks at the right times
When the training load is particularly high, carbohydrate drinks provide additional energy and may help improve training quality. Such drinks are also useful after weigh-ins so as to help promote refuelling and rehydration prior to competition.