Sports drinks certainly have a time and a place. If your child is exercising intensely in the heat for longer than 45 to 60 minutes, sports drinks are recommended for rehydration, says Douglas Casa, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology and hydration expert at the University of Connecticut. If it’s not hot out, then Dr. Casa only recommends sports drinks if your child is exercising for multiple hours. But if your child is playing a sport where there’s a lot of downtime and it’s not hot out, then water is the best thing for her to drink. Sports drinks are cited as one of the sugar-sweetened beverages that add needless extra sugars to children’s diets. And consuming too many added sugars puts children at risk for obesity and Type 2 diabetes later on.