Sports drinks such as Gatorade, Powerade, Propel, Cytomax, drinks made by Clif and Powerbar and coconut water contain electrolytes. These drinks come in both ready-to-drink bottles as well as powdered forms that can be mixed with water.
Electrolytes are naturally occurring minerals in bodily fluids that carry an electric charge and affect the amount of water in the body, muscle function and other important metabolic processes such as nerve and heart function. These minerals include calcium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, phosphorous and sodium, reports the National Library of Medicine website at nlm.com. Electrolytes can be acids, bases or salts such as ionized calcium and the minerals listed above found in blood serum, the liquid of the blood that doesn't contain cells.
The body loses these minerals through perspiration and must be replaced by drinking fluids with electrolytes. Water does not contain electrolytes but is important to drink, says an article at Runner's World.com. Drinking electrolytes maintains the body's ability to process carbohydrates such as glucose more effectively, increasing energy and endurance.
Popular brands such as Gatorade, Powerade, Gu Electrolyte Brew and Cytomax all come in convenient, ready-to-drink liquid form. Many of these brands also make powders that can be mixed with water, while some brands offer something extra beyond electrolytes. Zym Endurance Sports Drink tablets also contain vitamin B compounds, whereas Nuun Active Hydration tabs are enhanced with caffeine.