Staying hydrated during exercise and physical activity is essential, especially during the hot summer months. Sports drinks are one of the options offered by America’s beverage companies to support the hydration needs of those who are working out, training or competing in athletics, exposed to high temperatures or simply looking for a refreshing beverage option that can be relatively low in calories and provides electrolytes. Here are five helpful facts about these beverages.

Sports drinks were created to help athletes and other active people hydrate before, during and after vigorous exercise. Sports drinks are an easily accessible and convenient option for replacing essential fluids and electrolytes that are lost during exercise or exposure to high temperatures. Electrolytes are salts that are found in the body fluid, tissue and blood, and are essential to proper hydration as these salts are lost during exercise or in the heat. Common electrolytes include: sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium and magnesium. There are plenty of serving sizes to suit people’s needs and provide adequate hydration, even for professional athletes. Lower calorie versions of sports drinks are available for people who want nutrients and electro­lytes, but fewer calories.