Tag Archives: Caffeine

Sports and Energy Drinks (Article)

Whether they play formal sports or just run around the school yard at recess, most children are active enough to need fluid replacement. Till recently, children drank water to rehydrate; in today’s world, however, active children commonly consume sports and energy drinks to rehydrate. These drinks were designed for athletes who endure extremes in physical and environmental stress, not for children playing little league baseball or a Saturday morning soccer game.  Unfortunately children are consuming too many of these sports and energy drinks, and they are not drinking enough water.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) together with the Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness (COSMF) completed a major review of sports and energy drinks literature from 2000 to 2009. This review sought to differentiate sports drinks from energy drinks, identify common ingredients, and discuss harmful effects of these drinks. This report identified that “sports drinks” contain carbohydrates (sugars), minerals, artificial flavors and colors to replace lost water during exercise;  “energy drinks” contain all the above plus stimulants such as caffeine and taurine for performance enhancement.

Do we really want our little ones drinking sports and energy drinks when all they need is water? Well-balanced diets containing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins can more than adequately replace nutrients lost during active play. Overconsumption of sports and energy drinks can cause serious problems, such as obesity, for growing children.   In addition, consuming caffeine or other stimulants can increase a child’s heart rate, disturb his or her sleep, create a physical dependence, and trigger withdrawal headaches. In 2005, the American Association of Poison Control Centers received 2600 calls related to caffeine abuse in patients younger than 19 years. Remember, the majority of the energy drinks available to young athletes contain some form of caffeine in abundance.

As children grow up, parents should encourage children to drink plenty of water.  Water truly is the perfect “sports drink” since the body is made of it and can’t run without it. Professional athletes may benefit from the consumption of sports drinks, but child athletes will best benefit from drinking water on and off the the playing field.  Let them enjoy the sweet taste of victory instead of an artificially flavored and colored bottle of salty sugar water!

 

I welcome your comments at my blog, www.docsmo.com.  Until next time.

 

Written collaboratively by Norman Spencer and Paul Smolen M.D.

Smo Notes:

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/05/25/peds.2011-0965.full.pdf

 

ADD-An Integrative approach with Dr Sheila Kilbane (Pedcast)

It is my honor to be able to interview Dr. Sheila Kilbane, a pediatrician trained in both traditional Western medicine and the integrative medical approach. In this Pedcast, Dr. Kilbane will explain the “Integrative Approach” and give specific examples of how this approach relates to children with ADD. As you will see, Dr. Kilbane has a gift of making complex subjects easy to understand and is full of  practical suggestions that can help your child, whether they have ADD or not.  Make sure not to miss this informative conversation between Dr. Smolen and Dr. Kilbane.

 

SmoNotes:

1. Addressing ADD Naturally, Improving Attention, Focus, and Self-Discipline with Healthy Habits in a Healthy Habitat by Kathi J. Kemper, MD, MPH
2. ADHD Without Drugs A Guide to the Natural Care of Children with ADHD by Sandford Newmark, MD
3. The Kid Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook, the ultimate guide to the gluten-free casein free diet by Camela Compart MD and Dana Laake, RDH, MD, LDN

 

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