Monitor Your Teen’s Power Drink Useage

During warm summer months, you may actually encourage your growing teen’s choice of a “power” beverage to cool off with instead of reaching for a sugar-laden soft drink. But according to a recent report issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, there may be little difference in such a choice and little physical justification for it. Here’s why.

Drinks like Gatorade, Powerade and the like boast of providing needed electrolyte replenishment, which can be really helpful when needed. However, most modern teens don’t engage in a level of physical activity even remotely approaching the need for such replenishment. And, unsaid in the advertising of such drinks is that their sugar content is virtually the same as a soft drink, 36 grams of sugar per serving versus 40 grams. Moreover, part of the “electrolytes” boasted about include salt, which can spike blood pressure. And, even the low calorie power drinks contain significant amounts of artificial sweeteners which aren’t great for growing teens.

So, if your teen is a varsity football player going through two-a-day intensive practices or is out back digging a hundred posts holes for a new fence, the power drinks are great option. But, if your teen’s big activity is vegging on the sofa in a/c, while watching TV or playing on a laptop, you might want to try to limit his or her intake of replenishment drinks. Of course, having raised several teens, good luck with that!