Senator Catherine Noone today called for the protection of the term ‘sports drinks’, following reports that many sports drinks had over 10g of sugar per serving and doctors were recommending they be avoided. Speaking on this,
Senator Noone said: “I was stunned to read this week that so-called sports drinks can contain up to twelve teaspoons of sugar. These products, which are marketed as a replacement for water, and pitched as ‘sports drinks’ are clearly misleading.
Senator Noone added: “As one health writer says in the piece, there is a real belief instilled among many – but children and teenagers in particular – that they can’t possibly kick a ball or go for a run without these products, but the reality is that they are so calorie and sugar laden that they may be putting more calories on the individual than the exercise burns off.
Senator Noone continued: “If we look at, say, a 750ml bottle of a particularly popular sports drink, we see that there are 27g of sugar, or seven teaspoons worth. This is a serious amount, and it’s no surprise that some nutrition experts say sports drinks should be avoided, while dentists are also critical of the damage they can cause to teeth”.
Senator Noone concluded: “Personally, I find it misleading that these products are allowed to market themselves as so-called “sports drinks” and I believe that we need to have a debate about such products, and how we can look to protect terms such as these. I don’t believe it’s accurate or right to allow many of these drinks market themselves in this way – as though they are improving the health of those who drink it – and it’s the equivalent of an alcohol company branding itself as a “sobriety drink”, that’s how intellectually dishonest I feel it is. I believe therefore that we should look at protecting the term “sports drink”, whereby something with over a set amount of sugar cannot be classified as such.