Sports Drinks could be dangerous, Canadian Pediatric Society warns. Life, Sports

By: Ed Hitchins

Watching Sidney Crosby chug a Gatorade after a hard workout makes it difficult for children to avoid the urge to grab one after hockey practice.

But according to the Canadian Pediatric Society, parents should be careful about allowing them to have sugary drinks.

The information released Tuesday found that the connection between sports and energy drinks, with ingredients such as caffeine and sugar, has contributed to the obesity problem among youth. Sports drinks with a carbohydrate content of more than 8 percent may pose health risks such as diarrhea, irritability and increased blood pressure.

Beata Blajer, a nutritionist for Wisechoices who also works at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket thinks that it’s the physical appearance of a product that makes it attractive.

“Sugar, high fructose and colour,” said Blajer. “There is high sugar content in these drinks. You should check the ingredients before giving any of your children these.”

Andrea Carpenter, Nutritionist and head of NutriKidz, says that such health risks involved with consuming high caffeine and sport drinks are what parents should be concerned about.

“The best drink for any child doing rigorous physical activity should be water,” says Carpenter “Energy drinks, however, have no place in a healthy diet”.

Among recreational sports leagues, neither Brampton Hockey or the Greater Toronto Hockey League have policies regarding sports drinks. General Manager of Brampton Hockey Glenn McIntyre says that consumption is left up to the discretion of coaches.

Health Canada recommends anywhere from 45 to 85 milligrams of sugar per day for children aged 4 to 12 years old.

Sports Drinks could be dangerous, Canadian Pediatric Society warns.
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