Sports drinks claim to replace vitamins and minerals, but many question how well they really work. In this edition of Child Wellness Wednesday, Marcie Fraser takes a closer look.
"The purpose of a sports replacement drink is to provide those three critical items; the energy source, the glucose, the sodium and potassium that is what we losing when we sweat," said Dianne Fagan, a community nutritionist.
Sports drinks have become very popular in all age groups, but those drinks are suggested for middle school and high school students who participate in prolonged activities.
"Everyone sweats at different rate and if you are sweating fairly profusely and your clothing is wet, you may want to consider replacing some of your fluid with a specific drink that will replace your salt and potassium as well," explained Fagan.
If your child does consume sport drinks, remember they do contain sugar.
Fagan added, "Aside from the risk of gaining excess weight, there is the issue of dental caries and cavities."
Most kids can get by with water to help keep stay hydrated. Encourage your kids to drink two cups of fluids, two hours before prolonged activity, and 5 to 10 ounces of water every fifteen minutes during the activity.
If you have been sweating for a period of time, it's important to know the symptoms of dehydration.
"Fatigue, headache, dizziness that may be a consideration, that they need fuel or they need to replace their electrolytes," said Fagan.
Vitamin Water is also another product not recommended for kids.
"Vitamin Water are called fitness waters, and are designed to be additive, to add extra vitamins and minerals that people may fall short on," Fagan explained. "But they are definitely designed for adults, and not necessarily for children."
If you have any questions about sports drinks and your child, consult your pediatrician.