Sports and energy drinks for the young athlete

A post-game chocolate milk

Cold and chocolatey

The hot topic in the news the last few days, other than Jim Tressel’s resignation, is the latest report from the American Academy of Pediatrics about the use of sports and energy drinks by kids.  NPR has a piece on it; so does Yahoo! News and various other media outlets and blogs.

I had the opportunity to chime in with my views, which you can read here in this ABC News piece. (skip the video, it’s not the same story) It’s true, my kids mostly drink water, and lots of it. But, thanks to the advice of Bret, my son’s hockey coach, we’ve become big fans of the regenerative power of chocolate milk.

Turns out chocolate milk has an optimal carbohydrate to protein ratio, essential to restoring muscles and energy, and a bunch of other good stuff like Vitamin D that helps athletic performance and growing kids. We’ll buy a gallon of chocolate milk for tournament weekends, or grab a bottle from the concession stand or vending machine after a game. Since snack stand prices often require a second mortgage, it’s cheaper and more convenient to mix up a few drink bottles of chocolate milk to keep in the game cooler. Recently we tried some of the shelf-stable milk boxes, which I pick up at Costco, to decent reviews from the athletes, even though they prefer the other kinds.

Occasionally, only a Gatorade will do but, if you find your kids getting in an unhealthy habit, break out the chocolate milk. You’re welcome to drink something a little stronger, after the game, of course. Just open one for me.