Tag Archives: sports drinks

“Sports Drinks” for 4 year olds

Jack sent me a link to this article (LI: accidental PW: hedonist), and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it. Here you have several products which, if you go to their website, clearly state “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”, that are being marketed directly for children.

Advocare has products called Spark which contains several stimulants, including caffeeine. It is sold in two formulations: one for children 4 to 11 years old that includes roughly the amount of caffeine found in a cup and a half of coffee, and one containing twice that amount for teenagers and adults.

I’ll let this sink in. We have a company marketing an untested high-caffeine product to four year olds under the guise of providing Nutritional suplements for overall good health. In fact, there are promotional materials that suggest making Spark popsicles and gelatin jigglers.

For the record, there are few if any large, reliable studies looking at the effects of caffeine on children. But as the NY Times notes “The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages caffeine consumption by children. Canadian health authorities in 2003 recommended limiting daily intake of caffeine by children to 2.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, or roughly 45 milligrams for a typical 4- to 6-year-old. The recommendation was based on caffeine’s adverse behavioral effects on adults.”

And people wonder why I’m cynical when it comes to certain food companies. The primary concern out of several I have, is that there are adults out there using these “supplements” as a substitute for regular exercise.

Soda in the Schools

So I log onto the computer this morning, my eyes weary from extensive reading the night before, my left hand curled around an iced latte. I’m still sleepy, and I’m looking for something to jolt me awake.

I then come across an article in the New York Times, talking about how the American Beverage Association announced a new policy curbing sales of sodas (LI: accidental PW:hedonist) in schools last week in order to address the youth obesity problem.

I then came across this line:

Beverage companies say that bottles of Coke and Pepsi will be replaced by healthier products like juice drinks, sports drinks and iced tea.


BWAH-HA-HA-HA!!! Healthy?? Sports Drinks?!? Oh you guys cannot be serious, can you??

Lets compare Coke’s Powerade with their soda shall we?


Ingredients: water, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin (glucose polymers), citric acid, salt, natural flavors, potassium citrate, potassium phosphate, niacinamide, yellow 5, pyridoxine hydrochloride, blue 1, cyanocobalamin

Nutrition Facts:

  • serving size 8 fl oz
  • calories 70
  • fat 0g
  • sodium 55mg
  • potassium 30mg
  • total carbs 19g
  • sugars 15g
  • protein 0g
  • vitamin b6 10% RDA
  • vitamin b12 10%RDA
  • niacin 10% RDA


Ingredients: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sucrose, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors, Caffeine

Nutrition Facts:

  • Serving Size 12 oz.
  • Calroies 140
  • fat 0g
  • sodium 50mg
  • total carbs 39g
  • Protein og

Doing some quick math, 12 oz of Powerade translates to roughly 105 calories and 28.5 g carbs. Of course doesn’t sell either 8oz nor 12oz versions of their product, choosing instead to sell 20 oz (170 calories 47.5 g carbs) and 32 oz (280 calories and 76 g carbs). I don’t think they sell 16 oz bottles, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Are sports drinks a “healthy alternative”? Not likely. Sports drinks have electrolytes and sodium that are beneficial to professional athletes and marathoners, but have little value to the average user. Shame on the American Beverage Association for trying to convince us otherwise.

And for the record? According to the article ” Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid juice drinks, which contain only 10 percent actual juice”. So they aren’t much of a “healthy alternative” either.