Sports Drinks - Kentucky Beverage AssociationKentucky Beverage Association

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are one of many beverage options designed to help consumers stay hydrated, which is necessary for overall health and wellness.  These functional beverage products often contain electrolytes and were created to help athletes and other active people hydrate before, during and after vigorous exercise. Sports drinks can provide nutrients and quickly replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during physical activity or exposure to high temperatures.


The pioneer sports drink is Gatorade®. Developed in 1965, Gatorade® was the invention of Dr. Robert Cade and a team of scientists at the University of Florida who wanted to create a beverage to alleviate dehydration and muscle cramps experienced by their football players.  The researchers developed Gatorade® to restore fluids, carbohydrates and electrolytes lost during exercise in the heat.

Filled with flavor, carbohydrates and electrolytes, sports drinks are an excellent source for hydration before, during and after exercise.  The early 1990s witnessed a growth in the sports drink field and today, available sports drinks include:  Gatorade®, PowerAde™, Accelerade, Capri SUN Sport® and All Sport®, among others.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Dietetic Association (ADA), National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) all support the use of sports drinks as a great way to rehydrate after prolonged exercise.

Credit: American Beverage Association