The proportion of teenagers who consume sugar-sweetened sports drinks on a weekly basis increased, and daily consumption of sports drinks was more common among adolescents who watched two or more hours of television a day, according to a study published in the June 2018 issue of Pediatrics.
The study, "Adolescent Consumption of Sports Drinks", compared two nationally representative samples of U.S. high school students in 2010 and 2015, and found an increase in weekly sports drink consumption during a time when the consumption of soda declined. Sports drinks are electrolyte and carbohydrate-containing soft drinks, often flavored and sweetened, designed to restore energy and fluids.
The average child does not expend the amount of physical activity that requires the electrolyte replenishment, and sports drinks instead add unnecessary calories to children's diets, the study states. Researchers analyzed data provided by 11,113 respondents in the 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutritional Survey, and 11,305 respondents in the 2015 Youth Risk and Behavior Survey. Over all, the percentage of high school students who consumed any sports drinks in the previous week increased from 56 percent in 2010 to 57.6 percent in 2015.
The proportion of teens who drank one or more sports drinks per day decreased to 13.8 percent, down from 16.1 percent in 2010. But obese children did not exhibit a decrease in daily consumption, and the percent of teens consuming sports drinks daily increased significantly among those who reported watching two or more hours of TV daily. In addition, the study found that males, Hispanics, and black youth were more likely to consume sports drinks. AAP recommends that water is the better choice for rehydration purposes.
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