Specific AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommendations regarding use of sports drinks and energy drinks in children and adolescents include the following:
- Pediatricians should educate patients and their parents regarding the potential health risks of energy drinks and sports drinks and explain the significant differences between these types of drinks. The terms should not be used interchangeably.
- Energy drinks should never be consumed by children or adolescents, because the stimulants they contain pose potential health risks.
- Children and adolescents should avoid and restrict routine consumption of carbohydrate-containing sports drinks, which can increase the risk for overweight, obesity, and dental erosion.
- For pediatric athletes, sports drinks should be consumed in combination with water during prolonged, vigorous physical activity, when rapid replenishment of carbohydrates and/or electrolytes is needed.
- For children and adolescents, water, not sports drinks, should be the principal source of hydration.