Should I Give My Kids Sports Drinks by Dr. Mozhgan Kimble, Dentist
“Sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade, are meant to rapidly replenish electrolytes lost through sweating during prolonged, vigorous physical activity.”American Academy of Pediatrics
Even then, water should be the main source of hydration. Sports drinks have considerable amounts of sugar, which leads to higher risk of weight gain and cavities. An 8oz serving of a sports drink can have as much as 14 grams of sugar. However, even the lower calorie versions still have a high acidic concentration. Tooth enamel dissolves at a pH of 5.5. Water is neutral at a pH of 7, but Gatorade has a pH of 3.3. In other words, sipping on Gatorade exposes their beautiful smile to a sugary, acidic environment which dissolves enamel and causes cavities. So, if your child is having a great day running around the playground, the best way to keep them hydrated and healthy is simply refreshing water. Remember, skip the sports drink, keep the smile.
Check out these few tips for reducing sports drink consumption for your child.
1. Encourage your child to drink low fat milk or water with their lunch.
2. Avoid sending Gatorade or Powerade in their lunches.
3. Drink water in between meals.
4. If your child must have a sports drink after a long (over an hour), vigorous and sweaty workout, have them drink the sports drink quickly, and then follow it with water.
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