Healthy Beverages For Your Child: Even 100% Juice Isn’t A Perfect Choice

Some marketers have fooled us into believing that certain drinks are important for us, even better than water.

Take sports and energy drinks for example. The national 5-2-1-0 program notes the following:

Sports drinks – Flavored drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, Propel) that usually contain sugar, minerals, and electrolytes (like sodium, potassium, and calcium).

They are recommended only when you are doing intense physical activity for at least an hour or longer (such as long-distance running or biking, or high intensity sports like soccer, basketball, or hockey). Don’t drink them for routine physical activity.

Energy drinks – Flavored beverages (Monster, Red Bull, Jolt) that usually contain stimulants like caffeine, along with sugar, added vitamins and minerals, and possibly protein. We get virtually all the ingredients in our food.

They are not sports drinks and are never recommended for children or adolescents. Energy drinks can cause increased heart rate and blood pressure, trouble sleeping, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, upset stomach, and caffeine toxicity.

Be careful with that fruit juice!

Note that the fruit “drink” or “cocktail” or even “juice” may contain as little as 4% juice. Those so-called juices can have nearly as much sugar as soda, leading to tooth decay and obesity. Even 100% juice isn’t a good choice if your child drinks more than a glass a day. The whole fruit is much better.


Healthy Eating

Milk (or a calcium substitute) really does build strong bones

Milk is the best source for calcium in our diets; it helps to build strong bones and teeth.

And the winner is…water!

Water will always be best for your child (and you).

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