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Teenagers Consuming Sports Drinks Instead Of Water Are At Risk Of Health Problems Such As Diabetes, Study Suggests

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While thirst-quenching drinks may satisfy those who have just finished working out or playing a sport, apparently sports drinks aren't necessarily beneficial for a person's health, particularly young adults.

A new study on sports drinks that teenagers consume daily found that the number of those who take sport drinks is still considerably high, even though many of them have ditched sodas.

When Quenching Thirst Is Risky

Popular sport drinks such as Accerlerade, Powerade, Monster Energy, and 100plus contain sugar, flavorings, electrolytes, and carbohydrates which help replenish energy and fluids. Electrolytes are minerals that are needed for the normal functioning of the body cells, particularly the heart and muscles. When a person sweats when working out or playing a sport, the body loses electrolytes.

While many experts know that this is the reason why many teenagers consume sports drinks, they insist that it isn't needed.

A study conducted by Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of the division of pediatrics at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York and his team of researchers, was created to see how many young adults consumed sports drinks from 2010-2015.

Adesman and his team collected data from the 2010 National Youth Physical Activity on 11,000 teenagers and from the Nutrition Survey and the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which contained information on 11,300 teenagers. The participants of the study were high school students who were surveyed on their consumption of sports drinks. Adesman and his team discovered that the amount of sports drinks that are consumed by overweight teens did not decrease.

The researchers also discovered that the amount of sports drinks consumed by teens increased among those who watch television for two hours a day. Sports drinks are also very popular among Hispanic and African-American teenagers.

The study also found that those who consume sports drinks daily have a 26 percent greater chance of gaining weight, obtaining type 2 diabetes, and getting heart disease.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

What Is The Alternative?

Adesman commented that more teens and parents need to be aware of the dangers of consuming sports drinks and that water is still the best to drink when engaging in any type of activity.

"Pediatricians need to educate teenagers and their parents that water is typically the best way for youth to rehydrate when engaging in sports. Sports drinks are another form of sugar-sweetened beverage that have unnecessary calories and no significant advantage for youth," Adesman stated.

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