For most regular exercisers the topic of sports performance drinks is largely irrelevant. The commercial sports and energy drinks that can be bought in any newsagent are usually a concoction of water, sugar and chemicals - including colours, flavourings and other additives. Check out the ingredients next time you are tempted to buy one, and remember that some commercial sports drinks contain as many calories as a chocolate bar! Sports drinks aren't necessary to fuel your workout and indeed, only very specific isotonic drinks will be required for long-distance, high intensity endurance training. This applies to people entering distance events, training for long periods of time at advanced intensities or competing in athletic endeavours rather than those just keeping fit. If you are training for an event, then congratulations! You'll be delighted to know that you can save a small fortune by making your own sports energy drinks, using the water dispenser in your gym or office, and a pinch of sugar and salt to refresh your electrolyte balance. Avoid drinking too many sugary drinks before training if your goal is fat loss, as your body will simply use the sugar intake as fuel, rather than burning stored fat. Some sugar or glucose can provide gains for speed training where fat loss isn't the objective, but use such approaches carefully. Protein shakes can also be mixed with water to build and retain muscle mass after strength training, and hot water dispensers are useful if you add coffee to your pre-workout regime for fat-metabolisation effects and performance gains. Avoid caffeine in the evening and limit yourself to a good quality cup before a hard workout only, as caffeine has mixed effects on the body. It can lead to insomnia, nervousness and adrenal burnout if over-consumed. Try herbal and green teas instead for a myriad of beneficial effects. Latest news from Angel Springs, leading UK supplier of office water dispensers, bottled and mains-fed water coolers and eco boilers.