As the beverage market has exploded, so have the claims about metabolic benefits. Here's a look at the main boosts being boasted.
Photo: Nigel Cox
"Electrolytes" is the umbrella term for minerals like sodium, potassium, and chloride that assist in cellular function and regulate fluid balance—life-saving in cases of severe fluid loss. They are also lost through sweat during exercise, but unless you're an endurance athlete, tap water and a balanced diet will supply all you need, even after a 45-minute Spin class. These come in caloric and noncaloric versions.