Sports Drinks- A 6.8 Billion Dollar Industry That Doesn't Refuel Your Kids
August 27, 2016
The sports drink industry has annoyed me for years. A recent Washington Post article resonates my distasteful bias for the industry.
"Powerade and Gatorade wouldn’t be in big business if the only people who consumed their products were those who actually needed them. When these companies expand their markets to include all children who play sports, parents who believe the hype that their kids need to replace electrolytes and adults who think they are making a healthy choice by skipping the soda in favor of a “recharging” sports drink, the companies are suddenly pole-vaulting into money."
A strong case was made against the industry because of their similarity to sodas and soft drinks.
Many sports drinks have as much sugar and chemicals as soda
The American Academy of Pedaitrics concluded that these drinks should be avoided or avoided all together. They suggested water be the main source of hydration and illustrate that water and fruit (specifically clementine and banana) will be suffice for most athletes.
Industry insiders, those who work in professional sports, have claimed that the Powerade and Gatorade in their locker rooms are not the shelved versions in our grocery stores. While the Washington Post article argues that younger athletes do not lose the same amount of electrolytes as professionals and elite adults therefore only needing water and fruit, the perspective that I teach athletes and parents is that minerals are important to replace for muscular and nutritional balance.
Below are some recipes and demonstrations that Dr. Miranda Wall designed to give our athletes tasty alternatives for safe and effective replacement of minerals, hydration, and electrolytes. In my experience, competitive travel soccer players are constantly on the verge of over-training towards mental and physical fatigue. We cannot change the demands on their muscles and brains, but we can encourage them to take an active role in their physiological responses to these stressful demands.