Cardiff College discovered 89% of Welsh 12 to 14-year-olds questioned used the drinks – 68% at the least as soon as every week.
Researchers mentioned most dad and mom and youngsters weren’t conscious the drinks weren’t appropriate for kids.
The British Gentle Drinks Affiliation mentioned the drinks had been solely designed to be used after “vigorous bodily exercise”
The college’s college of dentistry, which revealed the analysis, surveyed 160 youngsters at 4 faculties in south Wales and concluded they had been interested in the drinks due to their candy style, low value and availability.
Half the kids mentioned they drank the drinks socially quite than in a sports activities setting, and solely 18% claimed to drink them due to perceived performance-enhancing results.
Researchers mentioned they had been significantly involved 1 / 4 of the kids mentioned that they had purchased the drinks at leisure centres.
‘Water or milk ample’
Maria Morgan, senior lecturer in dental public well being, mentioned: “The aim of sports activities drinks are being misunderstood and this research clearly exhibits proof of highschool age youngsters being attracted to those excessive sugar and low pH stage drinks, resulting in an elevated danger of dental cavities, enamel erosion and weight problems.”
The School of Sport and Train Medication (FSEM) is looking for tighter regulation across the promotion of sports activities drinks to youngsters.
Paul Jackson, the FSEM president, mentioned: “Sports activities drinks are supposed for athletes collaborating in endurance and intense sporting occasions. They’re additionally related with tooth decay in athletes and ought to be used following the recommendation of dental and healthcare groups devoted to taking care of athletes.
“Water or milk is ample sufficient to hydrate lively youngsters. Excessive-sugar sports activities drinks are pointless for kids and most adults.”
Russ Ladwa, from the British Dental Affiliation, mentioned: “Sports activities drinks are not often a wholesome alternative and advertising and marketing them to the overall inhabitants, and younger folks specifically, is grossly irresponsible.
“Elite athletes may need cause to make use of them, however for nearly everybody else they characterize an actual danger to each their oral and their common well being.”
Gavin Partington, from the British Gentle Drinks Affiliation, mentioned sports activities drinks had been designed to rehydrate throughout or after vigorous bodily exercise and ought to be “consumed carefully”.
He added: “This 12 months smooth drinks corporations agreed to not promote any drinks excessive in sugar to under-16s throughout all media channels, together with on-line. The brand new dedication additionally consists of additional restrictions to promoting round faculties.”