Stories about: sports drinks

AAP comes out strongly against sugary sports drinks

David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of the Boston Children's/New Balance Foundation Center for Obesity Prevention.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) sent a strongly worded message to parents this week: your children should not drink sports drinks or energy drinks.

The ads for these drinks are full of athletes exercising and the message is clear: sports drinks will help us be faster and stronger. More than that, the message is that we need them for exercise, because they replace the fluid we lose in sweat. “Energy and sports drinks are marketed in a way that imbues them with a healthy halo,” says David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of the New Balance Center for Obesity Prevention at Children’s Hospital Boston.

“Over the last decade, many studies have highlighted the adverse effects of the traditional sugar-sweetened soda,” says Ludwig. With declining consumption rates of these drinks, the food industry has tried to create a submarket of alternative beverages. Sports drinks are still sugar-sweetened, but they typically have about 25 percent less sugar and some electrolytes.

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