For more information on the
Dr. Robert C. and VeronicaAtkins
Center for Weight &Health, UC Berkeley
Frequently Asked Questions
With answers from researchers at the
Center for Weight & Health,
Parents, coaches, and physical education instructors oftenask about the value of sports drinks. Research shows thatwater is the best drink for children during the school dayand at most sports practices. Water doesn’t containunnecessary calories or artificial sweeteners and childrendon’t need the extra electrolytes and minerals that sportsdrinks may provide.
I coach a soccer team for children under 10years old, and they sweat a lot. Isn’t Gatoradeor Powerade the best drink for after practice
For most young children in sports, water is the bestway to rehydrate
(restore water). Research shows thateven when children exercise vigorously -- running nonstopfor an entire hour -- water is just as good at adding backthe fluids they need while keeping their electrolytes (forexample, salt) in balance.
And water doesn’t increaselevels of sugar in the blood the way that sports drinkscan.
Children get plenty of electrolytes from the foodthey eat, so during the school day and at most practices,sports drinks don’t provide any extra benefit over water.
Center Information Sheet
Center for Weight & Health
Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins