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Sports Drinks for Kids? There Are Better Options

Do your kids and teens like sports drinks—those brilliantly-colored beverages that promise rehydration, calorie replenishment, and electrolyte replacement? If they do, be aware: The Washington Post reports that while these drinks may offer some benefits for elite athletes, who train vigorously and sweat profusely, the younger set doesn’t need them. If they do lose electrolytes from sweating, less common in the types of athletics done by kids and teens, it’s typically a loss of sodium, which is already plentiful in the American diet. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that sports drinks for kids and adolescents be avoided, or at a minimum restricted, and that water should be the drink of choice. Sports drinks may even be bad for children due to the sugar and chemical content that rivals amounts found in soda.

But, if your kids still require something other than water, and you don’t want to buy into the nutritionally questionable sports drink market, here’s a tip: Along with water, give them a sweet-tasting but nutrient-dense fruit like a banana or clementine. Hopefully, this will satisfy their sweet tooth and provide them with a dose of micronutrients, like potassium and vitamin C, at the same time.

Source: Washington Post

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