Perhaps you’ve noticed that the MHSAA has an official beverage.  It’s Country Fresh chocolate milk.  This comes at a time when sport and energy drinks are under close scrutiny and growing criticism.

In many places we now see educational efforts intended to highlight the dangers of beverages (and other products) that contain high carbohydrate concentrations and high doses of caffeine.  Many warn of the unhealthy results that can occur when athletes use these products to replace fluids during periods of great exertion, regardless of temperature or humidity.

The Fairfax County, Virginia School District went so far as to ban energy drink consumption among the student-athletes of its 25 high schools.  This was in response to medical emergencies it experienced; and now the Virginia High School League’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee is recommending that all its member high schools do the same.

 Michigan’s State Board of Education has been working on updated nutrition standards for foods and beverages available in Michigan schools.  Under Sports Drinks, the proposed beverage standards read (boldface would be new):

  • Sports drinks should not be available in the school setting.  The individual athletic coach may determine whether sports drinks are made available to student athletes under allowable conditions to maintain hydration (such as when students are engaging in prolonged, vigorous activities on hot days).
  • Beverages such as water, low-fat or fat-free milk (flavored or unflavored), and/or 100% juice may be considered.

It appears that water and lower-fat versions of what our parents made us drink as kids – milk – are back in fashion.  Now if we could also get rid of all the plastic containers . . .

More seriously, however . . . the first bullet is old language and may continue to send mixed signals to coaches in Michigan, while the trend elsewhere may be to actually remove sports drinks from settings for which they have been marketed.  It is apparent that more attention to this topic is needed both elsewhere and in Michigan.

As for one segment of the problem, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission announced last week that it will ban the sale of all alcoholic energy drinks because of mounting evidence of the danger, including reports that nine college students in the state of Washington were hospitalized after consuming caffeinated malt liquor. Such products must be removed from store shelves in Michigan by the end of this month.

Posted in: Health & Safety


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From the Director

From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.