Canadian paediatricians recently released a very important warning to children and parents: sport and energy drinks are unhealthy for children! Pediatricians wanted parents to know the difference between sport and energy drinks and why they should NOT be consumed by children. Sport drinks include brands like Gatorade and Powerade. I have to be completely honest, I have enjoyed drinking these drinks on a hot summer day after swimming or after an intense hockey practice. They taste amazing! There are so many different flavours and they really quench your thirst. The problem according to pediatricians is that they are high in sugar and make you gain weight. I know that sugar causes cavities and diseases like diabetes so that doesn’t make them seem too amazing anymore.
Next, It is a myth that children lose too many important electrolytes through their sweat when they are exercising. It is also a myth that kids badly need energy and sports drinks to replace their lost electrolytes. I learned from the article that young athletes like me are not losing enough electrolytes during my hockey games to be in any kind of danger. Maybe adult marathon runners would benefit from drinking sports drinks but for little kids like me who play regular kids sports, water is just fine. Energy drinks are not something I have ever tried but I know a lot of young athletes who drink them. They boost your performance but they have caffeine in them! It is definitely not ok for kids to be drinking caffeine as it causes side effects like anxiety, sleep problems, higher blood pressure. These are all problems I hear very old people having and I would be terrified to have these problems.
I am staying away from caffeine until I become an adult in University. I can’t wait to tell the kids on my hockey team to-do the same when we have our next game on Friday. The article ends with a great point. Sports and energy drinks need to stop being marketed to little kids.
When we see our sports heroes drinking, eating something, it is natural for us to want to do it too. When kids see Sydney Crosby or Christiano Ronaldo drinking sports and energy drinks they want to do the same. Athletes need to do the right thing and say NO to doing these kinds of advertisement. Also, these drinks should be banned from all grocery stores and sports complexs! I believe that it should be against the law to sell these drinks to kids and warnings labels should be all over the bottle so that all parents know that these drinks can be putting their children in grave danger! Just like cigarette boxes have pictures of black lungs, sports drinks should have pictures of rotten teeth and globs of body fat.Interesting facts:I learned that Canadian kids consume an average of 0.6 litres of sugary drinks a day which is as much as 13 sugar cubes! I learned that the best way to improve your energy is by eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep.By: Yuvraj Toor