Healthy Children - August 2011


Water vs. Sports Drinks

Ashley Hoffman, BS, Dietetic Intern, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

If you have kids playing sports, then you are aware of the many sports drinks on the market. Kids love sports drinks because they are tasty and brightly colored. But are they good for you and your kids?

Sports drinks are full of ingredients that our bodies do not need during exercise and physical activity. Sports drinks have extra sugar and sodium that are not good for the body. Too much sugar and sodium can lead to health problems later in life, so practicing healthy eating and drinking habits at a young age is very important. Sports drinks have more calories that children do not need, and could add to obesity and tooth decay. Some sports drinks have added vitamins and minerals, but most people get enough through the foods they eat.

Water, is the most natural drink in the world and has many benefits to our bodies. Our body is about 60% water. Benefits of water are:

  • Gives our cells oxygen
  • Keeps our lungs moist
  • Protect our organs
  • Helps our organs to take in nutrients better
  • Controls body temperature
  • Protects our joints


When your kids are outside playing or playing sports, grab a water over a sports drink. Your kids’ body will thank you!