Sports Drinks and Our kids--advice, experience?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lizanne2, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. lizanne2

    lizanne2 New Member

    Good Morning:

    I am looking for input regarding your children, medications, intense sports workouts with sports drinks.

    My young difficult child could nto drink sports drinks. IT was just a recipe for hyper and impulsive activity. That babysitter will never do that with any young child again.

    I have however given my teen difficult child sports drinks to hydrate before the intense hot two a day football workouts. I also allow him gatorade during school(or the night before) when an evening game is scheduled.

    Any thoughts? I am concerned about that recent press re ritalin and the football athlete but also am not sure that it is wise. I know, just water, but at the intense level of varsity football and my skinny 15 yr old I am not sure that water is enough!

    Thanks team!
  2. Mandy

    Mandy Parent In Training

    I am always skeptical with the sports drinks because of all the "junk" that is added to them including the dye's. I found this natural recipe you could try and see if that works.

    3/4 t sea salt
    1/2 t backing soda
    4 t cream of tarter (or eat 2 bananas for potassium)
    1T sugar
    1 liter of water

    optional: 1T orange juice or 2t lemon juice
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    There are now all-natural sports drink out too.
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    According to our gastroenterologist (treats the intestinal system), this is roughly the range of bad to good in things you can drink to help you hydrate or re-hydrate:

    BAD: Sports drinks you can buy in the supermarket like Gatorade. May actually cause diarrhea and often lead to dehydration due to the imbalance of sugars to salts in the drinks. Plus many people are sensitive to the additives like dyes.

    GOOD: Water - plain, not real cold, best for hydration prior to work outs but not best during and afterwards or to treat diarrhea.

    BEST: Commercial rehydration formulas like Hydralyte (formerly called Gookinaid) which have been formulated specifically for re-hydration of athletes and those with gut problems that require constant rehydration like cancer patients.

    On this continuum, you also go from tastes good (Gatorade) to tastes slightly ugh (Hydralyte) unless you are significantly dehydrated in which case Hydralyte will usually tast fine to you.

    While Hydralyte comes in several flavors, we haven't found any that are really yummy :( You can add sugar-free drink mixes to the Hydralyte to make them taste better. Things like Crystal Light lemonade in the little packets are easy to add to a bottle of Hydralyte and apparently don't affect the electrolyte balance.

    Generally you have to order mixes like Hydralyte online. Very few places carry it although you could try the gyms in your area that cater to athletes.

    Personally, I would also be talking to your son's coach about using Hydralyte on the field for re-hydration, especially at the end of games.

    Drinking too much water can kill you as demonstrated by an incredibly stupid radio show stunt here in Sacramento that involved drinking the most water in the least period of time to win a Wii. The winner died on the spot. I wonder if her husband and two young children can even stand to drink water after that.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    FYI, some kids are sensitive to sugar substitues like aspartame that are found in Crystal Light. My kids (as well as husband and I) get headaches when we ingest anything with sugar substitutes.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    If lithium is involved, they need sports drinks with salt, such as gatorade, according to difficult child's psychiatrist. We used Hydrate and gatorade most of the time. Isn't there a potential risk for kids on lamictol being in a lot of hot sun?
  7. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Yes a number of psychiatric medications will make you more sun and/or heat sensitive. If it says it may cause a rash (big issue with Lamictal) it is likely to make you sun sensitive.

    Most if not all of the anti-psychotics, including the new atypical anti-psychotics cause sun and heat sensitivity.

    Why to read the inserts you get with your medications...

    Hydralyte has salts in it. But the issue is the balance of sugars to salts. Too much of either one (which is the problem with Gatorade) actually leaches water from the intestines especially if you are drinking a lot of it or are very dehydrated. According to my son's specialist that is.

    My son has Crohn's and is on multiple medications which can cause dehydration and sun sensitivity. Crohn's affects the intestines and causes extensive inflammation - he basically gets huge open sores on the inside of his intestines. He is pretty good remission right now so his inflammation is on the low side but it's still an issue and severe dehydration might trigger an increase in inflammation. So hydration is a big deal at our house.

    Obviously, if you are sensitive to sugar-free additives found in common products like Crystal Light you should not use them. Fortunately there are a number of "natural" products like stevia now on the market which might be OK to use instead. My guess is that these would be fine to add to help make Hydralyte more palatable.

    I am just a laymom passing on our specialist's advice. Ask your own doctor is always a good idea.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    As a general rule, unless you are competing at the level of Olympic athletes water is all you really need. The gatorade and powerade drinks are nice but have too much sugar to help.

    The hydralite type drinks are overkill for most of the population. Those with extreme health issues and those who compete at Olympic/professional levels need those things but very few ever reach those levels of activity.

    There ARE things you can do to make water more attractive without making it as expensive as the hydralite drinks or as sugary as the gatorade drinks.

    While water CAN kill you, so can everything else. Using that woman's death in this situation is not very applicable. She was not drinking because of an activity or because she was thirsty.

    As a general rule by the time you are thirsty it is long past the time to drink.

    My father in law coached many state championship football teams at the high school level. He paid very close attention to what the latest research was saying. I also had a grandparent who worked with MANY researchers who examined this topic in the collegiate and pro sports levels. He was a statistician with an encyclopedic memory.

    If you want to use gatorade, it is best to get the powdered kind and use 1/3 to 1/4 the powder recommended for an amount of water. If it says to use 1 scoop for 32 oz water, use 1 scoop for 96 to 128 oz. It will not taste the same, but will provide enough of what they need.

    An even better solution is to soak a pound of raisins in water for a day or two. (If soaking for longer keep refrigerated). Add the liquid to a gallon of water and it will really help.

    Adding lemon or lime or even orange or grapefruit juice to water will help it taste better and help your body with the demands of sporting activities. You can get powdered lime,lemon and orange juice under the brands TrueLemon, TrueLime, and TrueOrange. ( you can even click for samples or buy online). This is an excellent product and makes adding lemon or lime to a drink very easy. No more lemon juice packets that break open and leak all over everything.

    The homemade sports drinks such as the recipe posted by Mandy are also probably overkill for a child but are not as terrible for them as gatorade or powerade. (because of all the sugar you might as well give your child a soda - they truly are not a good idea during sports).

    This may sound low tech or like I am poo-poo ing all over others' suggestions. I don't mean to. It comes from years of listening to researchers and coaches and people getting degrees in nutrition and sports medicine and athletics talk about this. I even helped enter data for several studies on this (a part time high school and college gig for a faculty brat, LOL!).

    Whatever you choose, make sure your child drinks enough in the hours before and after the event or outing as well as while he is playing. MANY headaches are caused by dehydration. We also eat far more than we should because many of us perceive thirst as hunger. So if you can drink a glass of water when you are hungry you may be able to cut your calories painlessly!
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    During husband's Army years, he spent a lot of time in both desert and jungle environments. In both cases the 'locals' used the same treatment/preventative for heat-related illnesses.

    It's very simple: lemon or orange slices sprinkled with salt (in the Americas the locals used to add chili powder for additional seasoning as opposed to any medical effects.

    He told me about it as I have trouble concentrating my urine and get very dehydrated very easily.

    I've tried it and it does work. The citrus provides potassium and the salt adds in sodium and chlorine.

    It doesn't work with citrus juices as those are much higher in sugar than the actual fruit and the balance is 'off'.

    Basically you carry your fruit and some salt and plenty of water and it makes the heat a lot easier to deal with.

    If you use oranges or similar you want the more natural kinds like tangerines/clementines as opposed to the navel oranges (navel oranges have been bred to have high levels of sugar)

    You can tell you need the 'treatment' if a salty lemon actually tastes good to you, LoL.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's a very good tip! thank you! difficult child likes the outdoor day camps where the kids stay active- even in 90+ degree weather and being fruit slices, most kids could go along with this.
  11. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Perfect timing for this subject in our household.

    difficult child's neurologist has asked that he drink plenty of water and gaterade. He tends to dehydrate faster than most people. She specifically wants him to have gaterade for whatever is in it. However, the orthodontist wants him to cut the gaterade because of the sugar is way too hard on his teeth. He will not be able to have braces if he continues with the gaterade - it would be too hard to keep the sugar off his teeth that will find it's way between the braces and the teeth.

    I am very fortunate that my kids will drink water (wonders of wonders how that came about since I very seldom will drink it myself - sometimes "Do as I say and not what I do" works I guess).

    I am asking him to drink water until the class just before phy-ed. At that point he may have gaterade and then finish the gaterade after phy-ed, then back to water.

    difficult child is also suppose to increase salt in his diet so the fruit with salt is something I will try while at home - it would get too messy for him to deal with at school.

    Susie, thank you for the powdered suggestion. I am looking for ways of meeting the gaterade need without the sugar - I am sure the sugar is not what the neurologist is looking for. I can make a water bottle at home to send to school with him.