Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks NOT Appropriate for Children

Sports and energy drinks are being marketed to children and adolescents.   I don’t do energy drinks but see junior high and high school kids drinking cans of the stuff.  I will occassionally have a sports drink.  That’s why I thought nothing about kids having sports drinks when they’re playing.   After all, the drinks are sold everywhere and look at the pro athletes that endorse these products.  Reading their labels however, made me ask, “Are these drinks safe for my child?”

These are excerpts from a June 2011 article that appeared in Journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics.

Sales of sports and energy drinks in schools are increasing.  Having agreed voluntarily to phase out full-calorie sodas from schools by the 2009–2010 school year, beverage manufacturers are heavily promoting sports drinks as a healthier alternative.

Sports and energy drinks contain excessive sugar and calories that may encourage dental erosion and obesity.  Sports drinks for teens engaged in high endurance and high intensity sports may be appropriate.  For the average child engaged in routine physical activity, the use of sports drinks in place of water on the sports field or in the school lunchroom is generally unnecessary.  Stimulant-containing energy drinks have no place in the diets of children or adolescents.  Excessive regular consumption of carbohydrate-containing beverages increases overall daily caloric intake without significant additional nutritional value.  Therefore, frequent consumption adversely affects the appropriate balance of carbohydrate, fat, and protein needed for optimal growth, development, body composition, and health.

In April 2007, the Institute of Medicine published a report titled Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools, in which it recommended a healthier eating environment for children and adolescents in this country.  Relevant to sports and energy drinks, its recommendations for schools included:

  • limit sugars in food and drink;

  • have water available at no cost;

  • restrict carbonated, fortified, or flavored waters;

  • restrict sports drinks to use by athletes only during prolonged, vigorous sports activities;

  • prohibit energy drink use, even for athletes; and

  • prohibit the sale of caffeinated products in school.

Energy drinks pose potential health risks primarily because of unnecessary stimulants including caffeine, guarana, taurine, ginseng, L-carnitine, creatine and glucuronolactone.  Therefore, energy drinks are not appropriate for children and adolescents and should never be consumed.

Read the full article…


About The Leaf Lover
Aloha, my name is Byron Goo. I started our company in 1995 in my garage. Tea has taken me all over the world since then and I continue to be a student of the leaf and of life. The Leaf Lover is a way for me to share about my passion for tea and our small business. I wear many hats including CEO of the company but I think of myself simply as a tea maker.

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