A Sports Drink Made For Your Four-Year-Old?

Considering the great strides Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar is making in California to improve the nutrition of children in public schools, I thought you'd want to know about the strategies some companies are taking to protect their share of the soft/sports drink market. One such product is Spark, profiled in the New York Times, my favorite newspaper in the world.

Produced and distributed by a Texas company, Spark sounds like nothing more than a sports drink, albeit marketed to parents of children of all ages regardless of its true nutritional value. Formulations -- one for kids ages 4-11 and the other for adolescents, teens and adults -- vary in the amount of caffeine they contain. The children's product contains about the same quantity of caffeine found in 1.5 cups of coffee while the other marketed to teens and older folks includes twice as much.

The other point worth mentioning: Drugs containing caffeine must include safety warnings, but there are no such requirements for caffeine content in dietary supplements because they are considered foods. For that matter, you won't hear a peep from sports drink manufacturers about how lethal their products can be when they're combined with alcohol either.

If you want to read an excellent first-hand account about the dubious value of sports drinks, I urge you to review Dr. Ben Lerner's most recent column about working with Olympic athletes who appeared to be fanatical about everything, but nutrition.

New York Times September 25, 2005 Registration Required

Wilmington Star-News September 26, 2005

Click Here and be the first to comment on this article
Post your comment