The Purpose of Sports Drinks Are Being Misunderstood And Our Children Are At Risk
The rise of sports drinks as a substitute for soft drinks is cause for real concern. Sports drinks promise hydration and energy for athletes after a tough workout. But too many children drink them simply because of the flavors, low price and availability, putting their teeth at risk.
Sports drinks are high in acids and sugars, leading to an increased risk of dental cavities, enamel erosion and obesity. The acid in sports drinks erodes the teeth from the first sip until 45 minutes after the last sip, when saliva returns the mouth to its normal PH balance. Most parents aren’t aware that sports drinks aren’t intended to be consumed by children. These drinks are intended for athletes taking part in endurance and intense sporting events.
In addition to fluid content, sports drinks contain a significant amount of calories, mostly from sugar, and some electrolytes including sodium and potassium. For the average person that does not participate in regular high-intensity workouts, the added nutrients provide no additional benefits, and can lead to gradual weight gain over time.
The academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Sports medicine are in agreement. Both only recommend the use of sports drinks for intense exercise lasting more than an hour. The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine is calling for tighter regulation of the price, availability and marketing of sports drinks to children, especially around schools to safeguard general and dental health.
Just because a drink has a healthy image, that doesn’t mean it’s good for you.