Pediatricians — Keep Kids Away From Sports Drinks, Energy Drinks

The findings from a recent study released by the American Academy of Pediatrics indicate that energy drinks and sports drinks can be dangerous for children. While sports drinks are often marketed to kids, and energy drinks are occasionally consumed by athletes of all ages, the AAP says children often can’t tell the difference between the two types of products.  Mixing them up means children may drink unnecessary amounts of caffeine while attempting to re-hydrate. These categories are often marketed for kids, but caffeine isn’t good for children, according to the AAP.

Caffeine has been linked to problems with children’s developing neurologic and cardiovascular systems, and many energy drinks contain at least several sodas’ worth. Meanwhile, there is also little understanding that caffeine is unhealthy for children — yet they drink it, on average, eight out of 10 days, according to the AAP report.

The AAP also recommended that children rarely consume sports drinks. While those types of electrolyte replacement products are sometimes beneficial after prolonged and strenuous exercise, the organization also indicated that water is a better substitute, saying that sports and energy drinks have been linked to obesity in children because of their high caloric value.

Meals, the report says, should be accompanied by juice or low-fat milk and not a sports drink, as most children receive their required amount of electrolytes and vitamins if they are eating a healthy diet.