Report: Teens Shouldn't Consume Sports Drinks or Energy Drinks
A new report, published in the journal Pediatrics, says teens shouldn't drink sports drinks unless they're active athletes, and they should avoid energy drinks altogether.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition and its Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, "frequent or excessive intake of caloric sports drinks can substantially increase the risk for overweight or obesity" in teens.
Although sports drinks advertise hydrating qualities and the replenishing of electrolytes, many of them also contain high fructose corn syrup. This contributes to most of the calories in sports drinks, so if you drink a lot of them without exercising, they could lead to weight gain just as drinking soda or any other high-calorie beverage can.
The carbohydrate and electrolyte boost can help athletes after a hard workout or game, but Dr. Marcie Schneider, a member of the nutrition committee, says that doesn't always apply to high school students. "...Outside that setting -- and honestly most of our teens and children are way outside that setting -- they don't need sports drinks," she says. "Water, not sports drinks, should be the major source of hydration for adolescents."
The study also says that caffeine and other stimulants in energy drinks have "no place in the diet" of teens. "We know that caffeine raises heart rate, blood pressure, speech rates and motor activity, and affects how much acid your stomach secretes, your body temperature and how much you sleep or don't sleep," Dr. Schneider adds. "Do these kids really need caffeine as part of their lives? The answer is no." %Poll-64680% %Poll-64685%