Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) have shared that sports foods and drinks should not be consumed by children under 15 years of age, or pregnant women.

FSANZ have said these products are formulated to meet the specific dietary requirements of sports people, which means they are able to include additional substances that are not permitted or are restricted in other foods. For this reason, they are not suitable for children under 15 years of age, or pregnant women.

To meet the specific dietary requirements of sports people, this Standard allows the addition of substances that are not permitted or are restricted in other foods as well as higher levels of some vitamins and minerals. This means that these foods are not suitable for children or pregnant women.

FSANZ did clarify that electrolyte drinks aren’t technically classified as ‘sports drinks’ and actually fall under a different standard in the Food Standards Code.

There is no requirement to label electrolyte drinks with a warning that they are ‘not recommended for young people under 15 years of age, or pregnant women.  “Other foods used by sports people are not regulated specifically as sports foods, such as … electrolyte drinks.”

The labels of sports foods must:

  • say ‘formulated supplementary sports food’
  • indicate that they are not a sole source of nutrition and should be consumed in conjunction with a nutritious diet and an appropriate physical training or exercise program
  • provide directions stating the recommended quantity and frequency of intake of the food and state the recommended consumption of the food in one day
  • state that that they are ‘Not suitable for children under 15 years of age or pregnant women: Should only be used under medical or dietetic supervision’.

I must admit this did surprise me! I have occasionally given sports drinks to the kids when they have been unwell or after sports when they are feeling a bit lethargic. Now I feel bad.

Do you purchase sports drinks very often?

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  • I would have never thought that these would be unsafe. Scary.


  • I don’t drink these type of drinks and I doubt I will let my little one drink them either. Even for exercise I don’t think they are necessary.


  • good to know


  • Never, never, never is my response


  • I’ve never had one in my life. My daughter only has them occasionally due to her sports. Her coach suggested she have them when she gets leg cramps.


  • I don’t think I have ever drunk one for this reason.i do buy them for my husband when he is playing rugby though


  • I laugh when I see people drinking these while out for a light walk. That isn’t the point of them at all. Unless you are doing really intense exercise there is no reason to be drinking them. I personally wouldn’t drink them at all and certainly wouldn’t allow my children to.


  • I sort of thought this would have been fairly obvious. Sports drink are for drinking when doing intense exercise


  • Don’t like the idea of these drinks in the first place – high caffeine and sugar content doesn’t do any normal person any good – and certainly wouldn’t help a gestating mum.


  • My kids have sipped on Gatorade or Powerade when they have been ill otherwise we don’t have them in our household.


  • never liked the idea of these drinks


  • We never use these – they seemed unnecessary for “ordinary” people.


  • I knew this. I never understood why young kids as young as 4-5 drinking it


  • I’ll have to let my sister know about this, her kids drink them after footy!


  • The only time I have drunk them is when I was sick or after surgery when I was having difficulty re-hydrating. I only had a few sips at a time.

    • Hydralyte might be better in that occasion.


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