Just following on from my post last week regarding the daily consumption of sweetened drinks and the increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, it’s worth making mention of sports drinks and their suitability for children. Sports drinks contain on average 60 grams of sugar (glucose/sucrose and/or fructose) per litre consumed and are designed for the endurance athlete who undertakes 4 hours plus of training and competition in one session, for example triathletes, ironmen or marathon runners. For these sportsmen and women, the high sugar content is essential to maintain the excessive energy demands of their sports. However, a 2011 review of sports drinks (see link below) concluded that they are unnecessary and unsuitable for children undertaking normal physical exercise and that water is the most appropriate hydration aid in non-endurance sporting circumstances. Although the study was conducted in America, the findings are just as relevant for the UK market, where sports drinks are becoming commonplace. Unfortunately, widespread consumption of sports drinks among children and adolescents in UK is contributing to the rising epidemic of obesity and tooth decay. So please be aware and keep your children healthy.
Juliet Schaffer, Nutritionist, Evolve Nutrition