A new study finds that teens think sports drinks are healthy, but experts say marketing these beverages as healthful doesn't make them so. Action News Anchor Nancy Naeve Brown asked one of the Registered Dietitians at the Avera Heart Hospital about the problems associated with guzzling gator-aid type drinks.
Avera Heart Hospital Registered Dietitian Joanne Shearer says, "Most teenagers do not need to be drinking sports drinks for the most part all these drinks are doing is adding sugar and that's empty calories and if those calories aren't burned what's happening is that's adding weight and obesity is a big problem among teenagers, children and adults.
Q: What is the daily recommendation of sugar intake for kids?
A: The total amount of daily added sugars is 12 grams a day. That is what's recommended by all dietary guidelines. That's 3 sugar cubes. A 20 ounce bottle of a sports drink has 9 sugar cubes more than twice your daily limit. And you have to count the sugar added to desserts and anything you eat that's sweetened.
There are a few instances where sports drinks are okay and that's your athletes that are vigorously exercising for at least an hour in high temperatures and humidity. They may need a sports drink after an hour to an hour and 1/2 of intense exercise but your average teenager no, these drinks are totally unnecessary all they're doing is adding sugar to your diet that you don't really need."
Joanne recommends children and teens stick to drinking milk and water. Even though sports drinks have less sugar than soda 32 oz bottle still has almost 5 times the daily recommended amount of sugar for kids.
If you have questions call 877-AT-AVERA