Sports Drinks a Hidden Source of Sugar for Kids: Study

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"The beverage companies have been very successful with marketing this as part of a healthy lifestyle. The kids playing have access to these drinks because the coach, teachers, and parents involved believe that's what they should be drinking during these things," he said. "But they should really be limited. They don't contribute nutritionally to children's health."

Across the board, nutrition experts said that just plain water is the best thing to give your child for sports practice or any other physical activity. What's more, it may be important to include flavored beverages and sports drinks in public health efforts to fight childhood obesity, said Hoelscher , the study's co-author.

"Public health campaigns are looking at limiting soda consumption [for kids], but you also need to look at limiting other sweetened beverage consumption," she said.

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