TAMPA (FOX 13) - Why do we drink sports drinks? Is it for the taste, the popularity, or do they really help?
Registered dietitian Sarah Krieger says sports drinks might not be necessary for most people.
"For most people who want to maintain weight, drinking water and then eating a nutritious snack after makes sense," she explained.
But things are a little different for hard-core athletes. Those who are outside for hours training might want to add a little something extra to their hydration.
Adding electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, can be beneficial -- but beware of the sugar. Many sports drinks are high in calories because the second ingredient is sugar. Some bottles end up having as many as 220 calories.
Other options, like Powerade Zero and Gatorade G2, will help cut calories. Or you could also try coconut water.
Some people try and make their own sports drinks to cut expenses. But Sarah says be careful. "I highly do not recommend adding salt or potassium tablets, because that could be very dangerous."
You can also use sparkling water or fruit to infuse flavor. You can also get more flavors by diluting your favorite sport drink or powder with extra water.
For more healthy tips from Sarah Krieger, go to http://www.sarahkrieger.com/