Positive Parenting: The lowdown on sports drinks
Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com
Back to school means back to football practice, soccer, dance -- you name it! -- for many kids, and we want to make sure your kids are staying healthy and getting everything they need to keep up with their demanding schedules. So, Robyn Greene is on your side with this week's Positive Parenting.
Greene says, "[A viewer] wrote On Your Side, after she heard some new information about electrolytes. She wanted to know how much is too much when it comes to drinks like Gatorade or Pedialite, whether it's after football practice or when they get sick. So I went to the experts to get some answers. Pediatricians, in general, are not huge fans of those sugary sports drinks. The point of those drinks is to replace the sodium you lose when you sweat, and to give you a hit of sugar to keep your energy up. The problem is a lot of those drinks, like Gatorade, have a ton of sugar, which could lead to weight gain.
"I also found this interesting. I came across an article on NPR where they actually spoke with one of the dietitians who worked as a consultant for Gatorade in the past. She said, even though every person needs to replenish the sugar, sodium, and potassium you lose when you sweat, you only need it after you've been working out intensely for at least an hour. Basically, those drinks were originally created for major athletes, not for kids who go to soccer practice a few times a week.
"Bottom line," says Greene, "sports drinks or any drinks that are meant to replace those electrolytes are fine if you drink them right after physical activity, and only in small amounts. We're talking about eight ounces. Pediatricians agree, water is always best. If kids do need a little boost, try a piece of fruit or some milk instead." -- Robyn Greene, Positive Parenting