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Are sport drinks good for kids?

Carol Cottrill
Nutrition & Dietetics

In my experience, most of the ‘sports beverages’ on the market today are either loaded with processed sugars, artificial dyes, potentially harmful stimulants, or some combination of the three! Not good for adults- even worse for little bodies. While sports drinks might do a decent job of promoting hydration, they also tend to cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, or ‘peaks and valleys’ as I like to say, which is not a sustainable and balanced energy solution. 

Sport drinks may benefit elite athletes like Lance Armstrong or Serena Williams, but kids should sip water instead. Sport drinks contain up two-thirds the sugar of sodas, and more than three times the sodium (salt). This comes as no surprise if you look at the ingredients list, which typically includes water, high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose, and salt. Many sport drinks also add the electrolyte potassium as well as color and flavor enhancers. The added sugar in sport drinks translates into extra calories and, potentially, unwanted pounds. While it’s a good thing to encourage kids to exercise and be active, chances are they will cancel out the calorie-burning benefits if they rehydrate with a sport drinks. Therefore, encourage them to lose the sport drinks.
Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens

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Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens

In a world of fast food, supersized sodas, and televised temptations, this guide shows how to buck the obesity trend currently in the national spotlight—and have fun doing it. Using a family...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.