Keeping hydrated before, during and after exercise is very important. We are made up of mostly water, and water is needed for all major metabolism chemical reactions. Drink water during exercise that lasts less than an hour and a sports drink for exercise that lasts an hour or more. Make sure thesports drink does not have too much refined sugar, and that is has essential vitamins and minerals. Ingest 30 grams to 60grams of carbohydrate per hour. The sports drink should have electrolytes as well.
If you are eating more than 100% of a certain vitamin, and-or taking vitamin supplements, make sure the sports drink is not adding more than 100% of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, as too much intake of these vitamins is detrimental (See vitamin blog.)
Check the nutrients in the sports drink. Determine if drinking it would push you over your particular carbohydrate, protein or fat needs, or sodium needs. Make sure that the sports drink does not contain Ephedra or Ephedra-like compounds. If you sweat a lot, you will most likely need electrolyte and sodium replenishment.
Some of this information was taken from Winning Sports Nutrition by Linda Houtkooper, PhD, RD, FACSM, Jaclyn Maurer Abbot, PhD, RD and Veronica Mullins, MS, RD, CSCS.
Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.
My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.