“Too much sports drink is bad for children,” says Japanese pediatrician

By on October 24, 2017

Our bodies lose water and ions when we sweat.  Many manufacturers of ion supply drinks claim sports drink replenishes the body with the right balance of ion and water.

But excessive drinking of hunger-suppressing sports drinks could result in vitamin B1 deficiency, tooth decay and obesity, says Dr. Ryoko Ishibashi of Ishibashi Children’s Clinic in Kogawa, Edogawa-ku.

She warns parents that there is no particular nutritional benefit in ion supply drinks except its ability to quench thirst after sweating.

“Ion drinks contain water and sugar as well as “electrolytes” such as sodium chloride, sodium citrate and potassium. When one sweats, not only water is lost but also electrolytes.  You need to replenish the body with these lost liquids.  But even if appetite is not lost after consumption, it shouldn’t be a reason for taking it.”

For parents concerned about obesity, she recommends water or barley tea (mugi-cha) in place of sugary sports drinks.

 “Sports drinks contain sugar and no vitamin B1. If children drink too much of it and the stomach becomes full that children won’t drink milk or eat baby food, it will result in rare neurological symptoms such as beriberi. I don’t recommend you to get into the habit of drinking it.”

So unless your child is participating in sports, water is sufficient enough to hydrate active children.

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