Researchers at the University of Edinburgh just found that 12 to 14 year olds can play 24% longer at a high intensity if they consume isotonic drinks (like Gatorade).

The study showed that drinking a 6% carbohydrate – electrolyte solution improved the young athletes endurance capacity but did not make the kids run any faster. The isotonic drink was made up of carbohydrate, sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. This 6% solution was shown to enhance hydration and prevent dehydration while supplying calories to the body helping improve endurance capacity.

Dr John Sproule who headed up the study said:

“The importance of hydration to improve performance during exercise for adults is well known.

“This research helps us further understand how adolescents respond to hydration and energy supply during exercise.

“The consumption of a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution was found to significantly enhance endurance capacity during simulated games play, and this could contribute to improved performance in adolescents.”

This study really shows the importance of keeping your kids well hydrated with a isotonic drink like Gatorade or PowerAde when they are playing competitive endurance sports. It appears that consuming sports drinks makes more sense than drinking only water. The next time your child has a game make sure he or she starts drinking a sports drink before, during and after the game.

The findings are published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and reported by Science Daily.

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Best – Mike Cola

Fitness Contrarian

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