Water is the best choice for hydration!
Recently, the Canadian Pediatric Society made a statement about energy and sports drinks.
Water is the best choice to meet children’s hydration needs before, during and after physical activity.
People who are doing physical activity for a long period of time may need sports drinks, especially athletes who are not able to eat during physical activity. For example, athletes who participate in triathlons.
Children do not usually need sports drinks. Children typically get enough carbohydrates to support physical activity, especially if they follow the eating pattern recommended in Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.
Energy drinks contain more caffeine than children and adolescents can tolerate. They should avoid energy drinks.
Energy drinks are promoted as products that can improve performance and alertness. In Canada, one energy drink can contain up to 180 milligrams of caffeine.
How much caffeine can children safely consume? Health Canada recommends these limits on caffeine per day:
- Children aged 4–6 years: 45 milligrams per day
- Children aged 7–9 years: 62.5 milligrams per day
- Children aged 10–12 years: 85 milligrams per day
- Adolescents aged 13 years and older: 2.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day
Children are more likely to experience side effects from drinking caffeine, such as:
- Jitteriness and nervousness
- Poor mental health
- Upset stomach
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased heart rate and other heart problems