Joey Kapel, nine, consumes sports drink at a hockey rink in Toronto.

Joey Kapel, age nine, consumes sports drink at a hockey rink in Toronto.
Photo Credit: Melanie Glanz/CBC

Canadian paediatricians: sports and energy drinks and children don’t mix


For years, a variety of medical authorities have questioned the claimed benefits of sports and energy drinks and suggested moderation or replacement with water.

This week the Canadian Paediatric Society issued a clear statement saying sports drinks and energy drinks are not recommended for young children and teens under age 18.

The  CPS statement on Tuesday said sports drinks contain high amounts of sugar contributing to obesity and to tooth decay in children. These drinks also contain electrolytes (salt) and are often marketed by sports stars and elite athletes, something children and teens pick up on and are led to believe it will help their sports performance.

Canadian paediatricians say such sugary *sports drinks* should be avoided by children and youth who also tend to overcnsume both the sport and energy drinks with potential health and addiction concerns
Canadian paediatricians say such sugary *sports drinks* should be avoided by children and youth who also tend to over-consume both the sport and energy drinks with potential health and addiction concerns © (Jon Elswick/Associated Pres

The CPS notes that the vast majority of children even in organized sports almost never approach the level of activity where a sports drink would provide any type of benefit.

Dr. Catherine Pound, the statement’s co-author and a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario said, “There’s really no reason for kids to drink sports drinks” adding that water, in addition to being sugar free, hydrates as well or better.

She added that with the growing concern over issues with obesity in children, consuming these sugary drinks can contribute to the problems.


Sports drinks and Energy Drinks: different categories, but both with concerns

Caffeinated energy drinks (CED) are in a somewhat different category but are also not recommended by the CPS.

There have been several reports of young children showing up in clinics and emergency rooms with abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, and worse after consuming energy drinks. The paediatricians note that children’s smaller bodies don’t have the same tolerance to caffeine that adults do.

The Canadian Paediatric Society considers the sugar and caffeine in energy drinks a risk for children.
The Canadian Paediatric Society considers the sugar and caffeine in energy drinks a risk for children. © Canadian Press

An oft-cited case is that of a teen in South Carolina with no previous heart condition but who died after drinking a sports drink, a large soft drink and a latte within a two hour span.

In Canada where caffeine amounts in energy drinks are regulated, an energy drink generally has about twice as much caffeine as an equivalent-sized cola soft drink and approximately the same caffeine as an equivalent-sized cup of instant coffee.

The CPS also said that caffeine levels in sports drinks in other countries may vary greatly from Canadian levels noting that, “some energy drinks in the USA containing as much as 344 mg of caffeine per 473-mL can [40], or more than seven times the amount of caffeine found in the same quantity of Coca-Cola [43]. It is important for paediatricians to be aware that regulations differ in neighbouring countries and that teenagers can purchase highly concentrated beverages outside of Canada”.

The Society would like to see the legislation modified to take into account these new drinks on the market, and their appeal to children.

Additional information- sources

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Economy, Health, International, Internet, Science and Technology, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.