Sports Drinks and Children

Your Pelham Pediatric Dentist Shares His Views on Their Part in Your Child’s Hydration

In the last several years, sports drinks have seemed to take over the juice aisle at the grocery store. At first, they were only consumed during sports activities and now, it’s not unusual to see them at the dinner table. Kids love them for their fun flavors and colors, but do they serve a purpose in hydration and have more benefits than water?

You may be surprised to learn The Centers for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) say sports drinks, which (like soda) are primarily sugar water, are not appropriate for school-age kids. The CSPI also notes these drinks provide added sodium—something many children over consume—and questionable ingredients such as artificial flavors. This is directed mainly at the overconsumption of sports drinks at home and with snacks. There is differing research on the use of sports drinks during sports.

In the hot summer months, even activities lasting less than an hour can result in loss of electrolytes, which are expressed in sweat and not replaced with water. Children are more susceptible to dehydration than adults, so use this guide for your sports drink consumption.

According to the Colorado Children’s Hospital:

  • Sports drinks are helpful immediately before, during, and after exercise but they should only be used for training and competition.
  • Sports drinks contain calories and drinking too much can take away from balanced eating. Don’t let sports drinks replace other nutritious drinks throughout the day.
  • Water is the best choice if your athlete is thirsty between meals. Milk is a great drink choice at meals to provide much needed protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Medplex Pediatric Dentistry is always available to answer questions regarding the oral health of your child athletes. Please call on us, your Pelham pediatric dentist, for an appointment or to help you plan a healthy summer!

Medplex Pediatric Dentistry serves as a top rated pediatric dentist for Alabaster, Birmingham, Hoover, Helena, and Pelham, AL.