Is Your Child Involved in Sports?
If your child is involved in sports, what do you bring along for snacks and hydration?
Sports drinks (e.g., Gatorade and Powerade) and energy drinks (e.g., Red Bull, Monster) are very popular, but they may not be the best choice.
In fact, according to a new position statement released by the Canadian Pediatric Society, most children and teens should not be consuming sports drinks or energy drinks at all. Follow the link below, for more information on this position statement.
This recommendation is based on the fact that these drinks are high in sugar and/or caffeine.
An excessive intake of sugar can lead to obesity and dental caries, and can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke later in life.
A high caffeine intake over a short period of time can have negative side-effects including anxiety, poor sleep, irritability, heart rhythm abnormalities, and vomiting and diarrhea.
So what should children and teens hydrate with during sport activities? Simple water is the best choice!
Use the following tips to ensure your child consumes enough nutrients and energy to support physical activity, to avoid relying on sports drinks and energy drinks.
If your child will be eating a meal 2 to 3 hours before physical activity, provide a meal rich in carbohydrate, moderate in protein, and low in fat and fibre, for easy digestion. For example:
- Peanut butter and jam sandwich + glass of milk
- Fruit + yogurt + small homemade muffin
- Fruit + cottage cheese + slice of toast
- Fruit yogurt smoothie
- Cheese + whole-grain crackers + fruit
- Sandwich + glass of milk + fruit
- Small hamburger + salad
If your child will be eating within 2 hours before physical activity, provide smaller portions of the above, or try the following:
- Trail mix + fruit
- Fruit + cheese string
- Small homemade muffin + cheese string
- Hard-boiled egg + whole-grain crackers