San Diego Pediatricians | Children’s Primary Care Medical Group » Archive » Sports drinks: better than water?


True or false? Sport drinks give better hydration than water, so your child need a sports drink if they play sports.


For most children who play sports and exercise, plain water is best. If you child is playing sports, be sure they drink water before, during and after practices or games.

Sometimes sport drinks may be necessary. If intense physical activity lasts more than 1 hour in a day or your child is sweating a lot, sports drinks can help to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes. Some people may need sports drinks during shorter periods of activity in hot or humid conditions.

The key is to use sports drinks in moderation. Their sugar content can cancel any health benefits if used as a regular drink – they’re like a soft drink! The extra carbohydrates and calories in sports drinks can increase the risk of obesity and dental decay. Always choose water, not sports drinks, to be the main source of hydration for children and teens.

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