If It Glows … Just Say No!

If it Glows ... Just Say No!  

By Me-Shell Mijangos 

If you’re a sports mom, like me, you’re all too familiar with those “glowing” drinks. You know, the sports drinks that are so bright they practically light up the aisle. 

As a soccer mom, it’s not uncommon for my 8-year-old son to be exposed to ice chests full of glowing drinks in all colors of the rainbow—orange, yellow, green, red, purple, blue (light and dark), even clear! 

Have you tried drinking one of these lately? I remember them being a little salty. But times sure have changed since I was a kid. I had one recently, and it was so sweet, it tasted like grape-flavored syrup. Gross!

Even worse than the taste of these glowing drinks is what’s inside of them. These things are loaded with sugar. We think they’re OK because these are marketed as sports drinks, meant to help kids rehydrate and get electrolytes. But, in reality, there’s almost as much sugar in just one sports drink as in a can of soda, not to mention other unnatural ingredients that I can’t pronounce.

Alternatives to the glow

So, does that mean your child is doomed to drink either glowing sugar or boring water after a sports game?

Fortunately, the answer is no. Here are some alternatives. 

Electrolyte tabs

Refueling with electrolytes is essential for active kids who are running up and down the field for hours at a time. Nuun electrolyte tabs are easy to drop into a water bottle and only have 1 gram of sugar per tablet. 

Coconut water

It hydrates you as well as regular water with the bonus of natural electrolytes and vitamins. The downside is that some kids (and adults) can’t get past the taste.

NOOMA organic electrolyte drink

Your child can still enjoy all the colors of the rainbow with NOOMA. These individually packaged electrolyte drinks come in yummy flavors like blueberry peach and combine Himalayan salt with coconut water for a refreshing beverage that’s naturally low in sugar.

How to help your child make better choices

Kids like sugar. If yours is used to drinking glowing drinks after sporting events, switching to one of the alternatives can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help with the transition:

Advocate on behalf of your child

If your child is on a sports team, it may be worth mentioning these alternatives to other parents or signing up to bring drinks after the game. After all, we’re all in this together.

Do a family challenge

Your child is unlikely to stop drinking sugary drinks on his own magically. It has to start at home. Do a family challenge by making a pact to cut down on sugary drinks. Depending on your habits, you could go cold turkey, or you might try to cut down to just two sugary drinks a week. Stick with a realistic goal that’s challenging but not impossible.

Add some flavor to your water

Have you tried orange water? How about berry water or lemon water? These taste so much better than plain water! Fill a jug with fruit and water and stick it in the fridge for a simple drink your whole family will enjoy!

It’s not always easy for kids to say “no” to glowing drinks, especially when they see their favorite sports heroes drinking them on TV. Taking small steps to minimize the number of sugary beverages, your entire family consumes will go a long way toward helping your kids learn the difference between what is and isn’t healthy. Remember, if it glows, just say no!


Me-Shell Mijangos has lived on the beautiful island of Maui since 2002 and is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach from the largest nutrition school in the world, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). She enjoys being a mom to her amazing son, whom she says, “Teaches me all the important things about life.” She is co-owner of Swellness Coaching, which provides online programs, a swellness blog, private coaching, and group coaching retreats to exotic places all over the world. To visit the Swellness Private Facebook page, click here. To set up a complimentary coaching Discovery Call click here.

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