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Kids & Recovery Drinks

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We all want to do what is best for our children. We want them to grow up healthy and strong. We want to fuel them for sustained energy, and we want to give them what they need for recovery.

We see lots of kids, and adults for that matter, drinking sugary drinks to aid in their recovery. Many of these so-called recovery drinks are so high in sugar that they have the opposite effect on the body.

I know this may come as a surprise to many of you, but the NCAA is a Gatorade sponsor. As such, they have the right to use the Gatorade logo in all of their marketing. but that doesn’t mean that the NCAA athletes actually drink the stuff!

Gatorades and Powerades are too high in carbohydrate to actually hydrate. What happens with the higher concentration  of sugar is that it goes into the small intestine and increases the osmotic pressure. The body’s response to the increased pressure is to dump water, which means you are effectively dehydrating yourself with sports drinks. There are not enough sodium and electrolytes to counter some of this in the drinks. The effects of dehydration are bloating and gastrointestinal distress.

If hydration is the goal then you want six grams of carbs for each eight ounces of water. You also want a little bit of sodium. Squeeze an orange in there for flavor, and maybe a few drops of maple syrup for sweetness.

FYI the current version of Gatorade has 21 grams of carbs (sugar) per 12 ounce bottle.

Not sure what all this means? Don’t stress if grams, carbs and osmotic pressure are not part of your current vocabulary. Let’s just give ’em water to drink!