Nutrition Tip of the Week: Dos and Don'ts for Sports Drinks

October 12th, 2009 by Varsity Parenting · 6 Comments · Product Reviews, Resources We Recommend, Sports Nutrition & Tips

Sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade can serve an important purpose in an athlete’s diet — when they’re consumed at the appropriate times. The carbohydrates and electrolytes in sports drinks can provide much needed energy immediately before or during activity lasting longer than one hour. These drinks can be especially helpful for athletes who can’t tolerate a small meal or snack right before they begin exercising.

It’s best to replenish fluid losses with water after a practice or competition and to stay away from energy drinks and vitamin infused waters. These beverages almost always contain too much sugar (a small can of Red Bull contains over 8 teaspoons!) and many of them also contain dangerous amounts of synthetic vitamins, herbs and other substances that can be harmful to an athlete’s body.

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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 tricia mcdonough ryan // Oct 13, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks for this tip! Can you comment more on the effects of synthetic vitamins on the athlete’s body?

  • 2 Dana White // Oct 13, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Hi Tricia – There are a wide range vitamins and herbs added to drinks marketed to athletes. Major risks include allergic reactions, harmful side effects, and the possibility of failing a drug test.

    Stay tuned for upcoming posts on the dangers of supplements. Thanks for your comment!

  • 3 audrey weil // Oct 14, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    How about putting creatine in sports drinks, or in water? Is that OK for teenagers?

  • 4 Dana White // Oct 14, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Audrey – I’m not a huge fan of creatine – especially for high school athletes. We will have an upcoming post with all the details, but in the meantime – I recommend utilizing water and sports drinks for hydration and electrolyte replacement only.

  • 5 Hydration 101 « // Nov 9, 2009 at 7:59 am

    [...] Check out our tips for Dos and Donts for Sports Drinks [...]

  • 6 AAP Weighs in On Energy & Sports Drinks - Varsity Parenting // Jun 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    [...] Dos and Don’ts for Sports Drinks [...]

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