Rule #1: Don’t drink sports drinks outside of activity.
The sugars in a sports drink have starkly different effects on the body depending on when the drink is consumed. If you sip a sports drink while sitting in front of the television, most of those sugars will be converted to fat and stored in adipose tissue. But if you consume the very same product during exercise, the sugars will go straight to your muscles, where they will be converted into energy for muscle contractions.
The only other time besides during a workout or race that you should use a sports drink is immediately after a workout or race. At that time your muscles are glycogen depleted, and the sugars in your sports drink will be used to replenish those glycogen stores and will not be packed into fat cells.