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Good Question: Are sports drinks and energy drinks the same thing?

Many parents and children think energy and sports drinks are the same - and a
good way to give kids a boost when they're playing sports.

But the American Academy of Pediatrics says that's not the case and now there is a new warning for parents.

Twins Emma and Connor Waldron are very active 10 years olds, so their mom lets them have a sports drink after a tough practice or game.

"My daughter trains for gymnastics. She's there for three and a half hours every evening so I let her have it after that and my son after a baseball game," said Meryle Waldron.

Sports drinks and energy drinks are increasingly popular with children and adolescents, but a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics says most kids who play recreational sports don't need sports drinks.

"Sports drinks contain carbohydrates which can give you energy, but they also give you calories and can contribute to obesity, being overweight," said Dr. Alanna Levine a Spokesperson American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Academy says energy drinks are even more harmful and have no place in a kid's diet.

"Energy drinks contain stimulants like caffeine and some of the energy drinks contain so much of them, it's the equivalent of drinking up to 14 cans of caffeinated soda," said Dr. Levine.

Caffeine can affect the development of a child's nervous system and cardiovascular system. pediatricians say the best way to keep young people hydrated, just plain water. before during and after practice.

Doctors say a sports drink may be okay if a child participates in repeated,
heavy duty aerobic exercise.

"I feel like the kids can use the calories after they do their sports and they need the drink and it helps with their electrolytes and the calories aren't going to make a difference, they burn up so many calories," said Waldron.

But Emma and Connor are only allowed one sports drink a day.

The rest of the time, they're happy to drink water.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says sodas that contain caffeine should also be avoided.


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