Monday, August 1, 2016

Sports Drinks and Children

When my children were young, we traveled a lot and I did not want them drinking soda, so I started purchasing a sport drink for them.  Then one day, I read the label.  Not only did the sport drink contain a lot of sugar, just like the soda, it was packed with sodium and some other ingredients.  Several years later, I prepared a presentation for pre-teens on the dangers or energy drinks, as I did my research, I decided to expand the topic and titled the presentation Rethink Your Drink.

With marketers focusing on younger youth, it is important that parents know the facts and promote healthy beverages.  Sports drinks were developed for the athlete who is involved in endurance sports lasting over a hour.  They are meant to replace the electrolytes the athlete lost during hard physical activity.   Children do not need these extra electrolytes and added sugar in their diet.

Energy drinks with their high levels of caffeine and other stimulate ingredients are also not healthy for children.  Original versions also had high levels of sugar.  These drinks mess with normal sleep patterns in youth.  During the deep rem sleep our body begins repairing and building.  This is the time when children's bones grow.  So sleep is very important.

What can you give your child to drink?  Water is the best hydrator and should be the drink of choice for sporting events.  For a hint of flavor add some fruit or a cucumber.  Low-fat milk is very important for children.  The nutrients help them build strong bones and teeth.  100% fruit juice instead of juice drinks.  It even comes in a child size box, so it is convenient.

For more information on this topic and the link of beverages to obesity, read this article

Consumption of Sports Drinks by Children and Adolescents

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