We’ve all bitten our lip or tongue at…
While temperatures in the Kansas City area have been a little (or more than a little) on the chilly side so far this spring, they’re bound to rise as we get closer to summer, and even lately we’ve had a few very warm days mixed in among the snow flurries and freezing temperatures. As the mercury starts to climb, we’re all likely to start spending a lot more time outdoors, and this is especially true for our kids, who will be taking the opportunity provided by warmer weather to run, play, and participate in summer sports! However, when your kids come in to recharge and rehydrate this summer, your Kansas City family dentist says that you may want to point them toward water rather than sugary sports drinks. Here’s why:
A recent article in the Washington Post helped to shed some additional light on sports drinks and other energy drinks, and why they may not only be unnecessary, but also possibly bad for kids and most adults. Sports drinks were originally designed for professional athletes who train and sweat for such prolonged periods of time that they genuinely need the calories and vitamins contained in the often-sugary drinks. (Gatorade, for example, was initially developed with the Florida Gators football team in mind, hence the name.)
No matter how hard they play, however, your child isn’t going to need the same level of replenishment that a professional athlete needs at the end of an all-day training period. That’s why all the sugar, dextrose, and other chemicals in sports drinks are often much more than your growing child needs, and can, as a result, produce more harm than good, especially to your child’s teeth, given all that sugar. Just how much sugar are we talking about?
Well, according to Delish.com, the average 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade or Powerade has around 34 grams of sugar, while most 20-ounce bottles of Vitaminwater contain 32 grams of sugar. By comparison, a 12-ounce can of regular Pepsi has around 33 grams of sugar, and a Snickers bar contains only 20 grams of sugar. That means when your thirsty child reaches for a bottle of their favorite sports drink, they may be getting more sugar than if they had consumed a can of soda or a candy bar.
So what should you offer your child after sporting events or a long day playing outside? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the answer is quite simply water. Your Kansas City family dentist recommends a glass of water along with a banana or other healthy fruit as a better bet than pretty much any sports drink on the market. A banana contains 400mg of potassium, along with vitamins B and C, as well as no added sugar or other chemicals. If you do feel the need to stock the fridge or the cooler with sports drinks, try to find the ones with the fewest added sugars or other chemicals.
At Blacker Family Dental in Kansas City, MO, we specialize in family and cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, sleep apnea, and more. Call (816) 763-8400 or click here to schedule an appointment.