Olympia Pediatrics: Children and Sports Drinks

first_imgSubmitted by Dr. Amy Belko for Olympia PediatricsExperts in sports medicine agree that all children and adolescents need frequent and unlimited access to water before, during, and after exercise.  In fact, some feel that younger children in particular don’t realize that they are thirsty until their body is already dehydrated.But, is there a need for sports drinks which provide hydration but also provide sugar and electrolytes?In 2012, an excellent review, Consumption of Sports Drinks by Children and Adolescents was published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  To summarize:Water is the key to keeping our children well hydrated.  Fresh, safe, and free water should be available to children in parks and school recreational facilities. The average American child or teenager does not engage in enough physical activity to need rehydration with a sports drink.  Parents and coaches need to focus on water.  Only 10-20% of time in PE class is spent in vigorous activity.  Even most team practices and games are not vigorous enough to require extra electrolytes and sugar. If children are participating in prolonged vigorous physical activity in hot, humid conditions for more than one hour, small amounts of sports drinks may be appropriate.  These activities include prolonged football and soccer training during the summer, marathon training and races, soccer and tennis tournaments, and long bike races.A balanced diet is usually enough to replace the water, carbohydrates and electrolytes lost during exercise.  Most electrolytes can be replenished with milk, soup, fruits and vegetables.Sports drinks are a source of added sugar, added sodium and excess energy intake.Sports drinks displace other necessary nutrients for our growing children in particular calcium, vitamin D, and iron.Don’t be swayed by advertising.  Water is the most necessary fluid required.  Add fruit or herbs to water for a change in taste.  Or simply keep a jug of water cold in the fridge to fill up those water bottles prior to practice. Facebook10Tweet0Pin0last_img

first_imgSubmitted by Dr. Amy Belko for Olympia PediatricsExperts in sports medicine agree that all children and adolescents need frequent and unlimited access to water before, during, and after exercise.  In fact, some feel that younger children in particular don’t realize that they are thirsty until their body is already dehydrated.But, is there a need for sports drinks which provide hydration but also provide sugar and electrolytes?In 2012, an excellent review, Consumption of Sports Drinks by Children and Adolescents was published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  To summarize:Water is the key to keeping our children well hydrated.  Fresh, safe, and free water should be available to children in parks and school recreational facilities. The average American child or teenager does not engage in enough physical activity to need rehydration with a sports drink.  Parents and coaches need to focus on water.  Only 10-20% of time in PE class is spent in vigorous activity.  Even most team practices and games are not vigorous enough to require extra electrolytes and sugar. If children are participating in prolonged vigorous physical activity in hot, humid conditions for more than one hour, small amounts of sports drinks may be appropriate.  These activities include prolonged football and soccer training during the summer, marathon training and races, soccer and tennis tournaments, and long bike races.A balanced diet is usually enough to replace the water, carbohydrates and electrolytes lost during exercise.  Most electrolytes can be replenished with milk, soup, fruits and vegetables.Sports drinks are a source of added sugar, added sodium and excess energy intake.Sports drinks displace other necessary nutrients for our growing children in particular calcium, vitamin D, and iron.Don’t be swayed by advertising.  Water is the most necessary fluid required.  Add fruit or herbs to water for a change in taste.  Or simply keep a jug of water cold in the fridge to fill up those water bottles prior to practice. Facebook10Tweet0Pin0last_img

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