Growing up, I remember seeing Gatorade commercials everywhere! It seemed to be the drink of elite professional athletes. I never paid much attention as to what was in them until I was older and studying Kinesiology in school.
Typically these drinks have sugar, electrolytes, and vitamins. The purpose of these drinks is to keep you fueled, hydrated, and performing at your best. It really depends on the activity, intensity, and duration of your workouts. If you’re only going for a 30 minute to an hour session and don’t sweat much then I would not recommend a sports drink. These are better for exercises done in longer durations like a long hike, doing outdoor activities where you’ll be sweating a lot, or anytime you need quick carbohydrates like during a sporting event.
Before drinking these, bear in mind your caloric intake and activities. These drinks were meant for intense and/or long activities or when you need some fast absorbing carbohydrates. These are fine in moderation and when you really need the boost during a workout. I always recommend actual food for pre and post workout meals. These are usually my last resort if I don’t have time to eat before a workout and really need the carbohydrates. If you’re wanting extra electrolytes without the sugar, then you can always opt for electrolyte packets to add into your water! It’s all about being mindful and purposeful about what you consume.