Playing sports, especially team sports, is great for growing kids as they work on their social and physical skills. All this playing and learning requires fuel and hydration, but from the right sources. In our previous post, “How to help your young athlete make healthy choices,” we discussed research that shows kids who play sports are more likely to eat fast food and drink soda, which are energy sources that can actually slow kids down because of their added sugar, salt, and fat. We are learning more and more about how what kids eat and drink affects their bodies. Sugary drinks like energy and sports drinks are the new hot topic of concern to nutritionists and parents alike. A new study shows that more than a third of teens drink sports drinks and that over 14% drink energy drinks once a week or more. Kids that drink sports drinks in particular tend to be athletes. But these beverages that are marketed to youth with a positive spin are actually linked to less desired habits like smoking, being less physically active, playing video games, and smoking. Plus these drinks tend to be chock full of sugar!
Watch out for added sugars in sports drinks, sodas, and snacks where you might not be expecting them with tips from our post on how to be a “Sugar Sleuth.” To avoid the slippery, sugary slope, it is always a smart choice to grab a glass of water first when you and your family are looking to hydrate happily. Massachusetts has some of the best tap water in the country after all. Bostonians actually prefer the city’s tap water to bottled water. Go ahead, grab a glass (or eight) at home and pack a bottle to take with you to school, work, or sporting events.