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Myth 5: Sports Drinks

Pediatric Fitness

Myth 5: Sports Drinks

There are many misconceptions about proper nutrition and exercise. Nutritionists from the Pediatric Fitness Clinic explore 26 different myths and misconceptions, the truth behind them, and offer suggestions for what you can do instead.

Common Misconceptions 5: Sports Drinks, Lemonade and Sweet Tea are Healthy Alternatives to Soda

These drinks usually have just as much sugar as soda, so eliminating soda and adding these drinks will not help you reach the goal of being healthier or managing weight. Manufacturers of sports drinks, through their advertising, show us images of athletes drinking their product implying that you will be a better athlete if you drink their product. In reality, water is the best choice for most people.

Sports drinks were originally made to provide athletes that are working out hard, sweating a great deal and were losing electrolytes, with replacement fluids and electrolytes that would help decrease the side effects of becoming depleted in either area. Your average person does not need a sports drink after a workout.

Look at the calories involved vs. the calories that you just burned. Did you drink away your health benefit? In all likelihood, you would benefit more from just a nice tall glass of water.

Try This Instead

Slowly decrease the amount of sugary drinks you are consuming. Before you know it, you will not need to have something sweet added to what you are drinking, water will be your best friend, you will have lost some weight and your pancreas (the insulin maker) as well as your teeth, will thank you.

Parental Advice

Is there really a place for sports drinks in a healthy diet? The answer is a little grey.

You can never go wrong with water. It will keep your young athletes hydrated during games and competition. Make sure kids get a water break about ever 15-20 minutes.

For those athletes who are engaging in vigorous sports for long periods of time (over an hour) such as long-distance running, or hockey, then sports drinks may be an option. But keep in mind, they're really not necessary.

Learn more about sports and energy drinks | More from Peds Fitness: Helping Young Athletes Make Healthy Food Choices