Sports Drinks vs Water for Children

Many people use sports drinks before, during, or after an activity; however, if you aren’t exercising intensely or are exercising for less than one hour, water is your best choice. Children and teens use carbohydrates for energy. A balanced diet gives most children and teens the carbohydrates and electrolytes they need. Extra carbohydrates and electrolytes from sports drinks aren’t needed, even after short physical activity or exercise.
A sports drink may be useful if children and teens have exercised intensively or for a long period of time. If your child is an athlete or takes part in intensive or long-lasting activities or exercises, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about how to best incorporate sports drinks.