12 doctors weighed in:
Are sports drinks better than water for kids who have been exercising?
12 doctors weighed in

Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Pediatrics
10 doctors agree
In brief: Usually Not
If you sweat for less than 2 hours, water is usually best.
After 2 solid hours, it's advisable to replenish electrolytes. However, the typical sports drink contains far too little sodium and far too much sugar. To make an effective rehydration solution, for every 2 cups of sports drink add 2 cups water, and 1/2 tsp salt. Or, start from scratch. Recipe: http://rehydrate.Org/solutions/homemade.Htm.

In brief: Usually Not
If you sweat for less than 2 hours, water is usually best.
After 2 solid hours, it's advisable to replenish electrolytes. However, the typical sports drink contains far too little sodium and far too much sugar. To make an effective rehydration solution, for every 2 cups of sports drink add 2 cups water, and 1/2 tsp salt. Or, start from scratch. Recipe: http://rehydrate.Org/solutions/homemade.Htm.
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
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Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
4 doctors agree
In brief: Not at all
The council on nutrition of the aap has reviewed sports and energy drinks and found them of little or no use for children & adolescents (2010-2011).
The fact that they are highly advertised should give all a reason for concern.They offer little more than a cola, and their sugar content is high enough to give problems with excessive weight gain over time.

In brief: Not at all
The council on nutrition of the aap has reviewed sports and energy drinks and found them of little or no use for children & adolescents (2010-2011).
The fact that they are highly advertised should give all a reason for concern.They offer little more than a cola, and their sugar content is high enough to give problems with excessive weight gain over time.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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Dr. Francine Yep
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: NO!!!
Agree with my colleagues: you need to sweat for 2 hours or more for sports drinks to be worth it.
Lots of sugar: 12 ounces of gatorade can have up to 5 teaspoons of sugar. Also, gatorade/sports drinks can be bad for your teeth. One study showed that gatorade chewed through protective tooth enamel more than coca cola. Yikes!

In brief: NO!!!
Agree with my colleagues: you need to sweat for 2 hours or more for sports drinks to be worth it.
Lots of sugar: 12 ounces of gatorade can have up to 5 teaspoons of sugar. Also, gatorade/sports drinks can be bad for your teeth. One study showed that gatorade chewed through protective tooth enamel more than coca cola. Yikes!
Dr. Francine Yep
Dr. Francine Yep
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Dr. Bryan Levey
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree
In brief: Usually Not
Sports drinks are often full of sugar and salt that is unnecessary for most kids.
If, however, the exercise requires a lot of endurance (long distance running, a three hour soccer practice on a 90 degree day etc.), then they can be helpful, in limited amounts. Some kids like to drink sports drinks when they're thirsty and inactive. This is a bad idea; way too much salt, way to many calories.

In brief: Usually Not
Sports drinks are often full of sugar and salt that is unnecessary for most kids.
If, however, the exercise requires a lot of endurance (long distance running, a three hour soccer practice on a 90 degree day etc.), then they can be helpful, in limited amounts. Some kids like to drink sports drinks when they're thirsty and inactive. This is a bad idea; way too much salt, way to many calories.
Dr. Bryan Levey
Dr. Bryan Levey
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