sports drink 4 Sports drinks are one of those beverages I just cringe when I see kids drinking them. Now,I get the love behind a parent giving them to a child. I understand that you are focused on the importance of hydrating and providing electrolytes to the body during your child’s athletic game or time of play. Good heart. Understandable purpose. Not a healthy choice to do. Let me explain. Conventional sports drinks are laden with harmful chemicals and additives that act as toxins in the body. In fact, many are linked to severe health problems such as allergic and intolerant reactions, memory loss, ADD/ADHD, skin lesions and other neurological issues. Truly, no child or adult should be ingesting or supporting these conventional sports drinks and their companies, but most definitely not an overtilted child who already has a nervous system that struggles to regulate itself accordingly. Ok, let’s take a closer look at WHY we need to make this HUGE dietary change.


ARTIFICIAL DYES AND COLORING:  Citrus Red 2, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2, and Green 3 are derived from coal tar  and petroleum, and according to the Center of Science in Public Interest (CSPI) have or have been contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals.  The British Food Standards Agency in 2001 concluded after a study that 6 dyes/colorants and sodium benzoate were linked to increasing hyperactivity and ADD in children. As a result, the European Union Law required all beverages with these 6 dyes to have warning labels that consumption can lead to hyperactivity.

A study reported by The Lancet  in 2007  by Southampton University and funded by the UK Food Standards Industry linked artificial dyes to increasing hyperactivity rates in all children, not just children with ADD/ADHD. This study supported the claims that food additives can exacerbate hyperactivity (inattention, impulstivity, and overactivity) in children from pre-school to middle school ages. . In 2008 the CSPI decided to phase out 8 dyes which stated some have potential cancer causing chemicals. Many of these dyes/colorants are used in common foods such as cheese, ketchup, hot dogs as well as soft drinks, candies and sports drinks. The dye orange B is reported to be used in hot dogs and sausage casings and banned in Canada as toxic. Blue 1, Red40, and Yellows 5 & 6 have been linked with allergic reactions. In fact, Yellow 5 (which is a bright yellow coal tar dye and is also called Tartrazine) is prohibited in Norway and Finland.

If this is not crazy enough to know our children are drinking such toxic soft drinks (and eating toxic foods), US companies such as Kraft, Cocoa Cola, and Walmart have removed many of these toxic dyes/colorants in Europe immediately upon the release of the Southampton study. Unfortunately, the USA has allowed such companies to laden our foods and drinks with such dangerous additives. Madness, I know!

“This study (Souhthampton) provides evidence of deleterious effects of artificial food colors and additives on children’s behavior with data from a whole population sample,” the authors wrote, “using a combination of robust objective measures with strong ecological validity, based partly on observations in the classroom and ratings of behavior made independently by teachers and by parents in the different context of the home and applying double-blinded challenges with quantities of additives equal to typical dietary intakes.” (

Perhaps if we, the consumers, learn and speak up, we can make huge changes in the drinks and foods offered today in the USA. For now, we must be vigilant in removing these dyes from our drinks and food choices. Sports drinks are a culprit. Let’s lean in and tackle this one!

NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORING:  Wikipedia defines artificial flavoring as “substances not identified in a natural product intended for human consumption, whether or not the product is processed. These are typically produced by fractional distillation and additional chemical manipulation of naturally sourced chemicals, crude oil or coal tar.” I find it easy to understand that artificial flavoring means the flavoring of foods with artificial ingredients which are synthetic and toxic to the body. Avoid these at all costs!

However, I find the meaning of “natural flavoring”  to be ambiguous and misleading. Wikipedia defines natural flavoring as  “substances obtained from plant or animal raw materials, by physical, microbiological or enzymatic processes. They can be either used in their natural state or processed for human consumption, but cannot contain any nature-identical or artificial flavoring substances.” Natural flavoring leads us to believe the food is flavored with natural healthy ingredients and is safe. Unfortunately, this is not true.

There are many food items on the shelves that read “all natural” or “natural flavoring”, but are actually loaded with harmful toxic chemicals, many of which cause diseases.  In fact, “natural flavoring” can mean gultamate ,MSG, autolyzed  yeast, hydrolyzed soy protein, artificial sweeteners, L- Cysteine (usually from duck feathers and human hair), GMOs, anal secretions, and other unhealthy ingredients.  Yikes!

“The FDA definition of “natural flavors” and “natural flavoring” allows for the substance to be extracted from plant or animal “matter.” So when you buy something and it has “natural flavoring,” you could be eating a pig, cow, turkey, chicken, or lamb which was shot up with growth hormones, fed GMO pesticide-laden corn and grain – probably mixed with other animals of it’s same breed, then shot up with antibiotics due to infections and diseases from living in confined quarters on slats covered in feces.” (

Unfortunately, our FDA allows this trickery of allowing harmful and gross ingredients to be termed as “natural flavoring”. You read the above paragraph correctly.  Anal secretions from a beaver’s butt is also considered “natural flavoring.” This item is called castoreum which is natural in nature, but questionable on so many levels. Why would putting beaver anal secretions to flavor our food be acceptable? This is not my idea of natural. Are you grossed out yet?

Blue Sports DrinkHIGH SUGAR CONTENT: Sports drinks are loaded with sugar. The content is quite high and truly unnecessary. We also must look at the type of sugar and where this source is purchased from. For example, sources such as glucose, dextrose, maltose, fructose, highly processed high fructose corn syrup, corn starches and other sugar variants can be derived from corn which may be derived from GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) which  have been linked to serious health problems such as tumors in rats. Conventional sports drinks are not on the NON GMO PROJECT list which is a great tool to know which products are safe to purchase as GMO free. Also, check out the  Invisible GM Ingredient list which may contain GMOs  depending on where the source/ingredient comes from. Sugar content and source is very important for a healthy body and nervous system and in the prevention of diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. The body reacts differently to chemically processed sugars than wholesome organic sugars.

A hyperactive and overtilted  nervous system needs to avoid drinks and foods with high processed sugar contents.

HIGH SALT CONTENT: Salt is used in sports drinks as an electrolyte, but the type and amount of salt is unhealthy. In fact, many salts today on the market  (in our drinks and foods) are highly processed and lack the ability to provide essential minerals and trace minerals needed by the body. Instead, conventional sports drinks load the body with high salt, sugar and harmful dyes to create a toxic playground for havoc and disease to run wild within  the body.

BROMINATED VEGETABLE OIL (BVO): This is a flame retardant that has been banned in countries such as Europe and Japan, but used in the United States for decades. It was a common ingredient in the popular sports drink, Gatorade, for decades until just recently. I must take note of this ingredient as it was listed on Gatorade’s website as an ingredient just a few months ago and may still be  found in many conventional drinks we give our kids such  as Mountain Dew, Squirt and Sunkist. Its purpose is to keep synthetic artificial flavoring ingredients from floating to the top of the drink. It allows for the drink to have a smooth consistency of its ingredients. It has been linked to nerve disorders, behavioral problems, memory loss and skin lesions and thus, why other countries have banned it. Simply beware this ingredient may be lurking in your drink of choice.

PLASTIC BOTTLES: As if a drink loaded with toxic dyes and high salt and sugar content is not bad enough, companies love to put their blue colored demon drinks in plastic bottles which are laden with harmful chemicals also. Plastic bottles are derived from petroleum and leach harmful chemicals into the very liquid they hold. Such chemicals are linked to creating hormonal havoc such as estrogen displacement within the body and thus, creating cancer. And, as if enough harm is not being done, these nasty bottles create havoc on Mother Earth. Yuck.

Most of the on- the- go water bottles are #1 and are reported to leach harmful chemicals into the water. These are considered to be  PET plastics which leach things like petroleum and hormone disrupting chemicals BPA s. BPAs have been linked to breast and uterine cancer, a decrease in testosterone in men  and type 2 diabetes. BPA is high in the #7 type plastic bottles. The numbers claimed to be safe are #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene) or #5 PP (polypropylene), but most water bottles are usually a #1. Water coolers are usually a #7 which are found to also leach harmful chemicals. I personally don’t drink from any water bottles unless there is not a choice. A bottle of nasty for sure.

Now, I am sure this in not what a mother or father intends to give their child as they go off to play. It truly is not hugs and giggles for the overtilted child either. Re-hydrating does not have to be harmful. In fact, I will share with you a very simple, healthy and sustainable way to provide hydration, electrolytes and balance to your child’s body and our Mother Earth. Your child’s body, mind, spirit  and nervous system will thank you!


As many of you may know, I LOVE to teach how to make simple healthy changes in food choices and lifestyle. On Dr. Lisa TV  you will find informative videos full of tremendous support and solutions on how to overcome the difficult Autism Spectrum challenges at home, life and in school. And, I try to make it all  rocket launching fun. Here are some of my healthy lifestyle tips:

1. Drink Filtered Water: This simple choice is way better than sports drinks or soft drinks. Make sure the water is not from bottled water due to the chemicals that leach into the water from the plastic. To learn more about plastic water bottles, you can visit my article here.

2. Use Organic and NON GMO Pink Himalayan Sea Salt for Electrolytes: If you put 1/3 tsp of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to 3 cups of filtered water, you will be adding up to 84 trace minerals and minerals to the water. In doing so, you have created an easy, healthy sports drinks with electrolytes.

3. Use a Healthy Sport Bottle: Ditch the harmful plastic bottles and refer to my article above as to what plastics are safe to use as sport bottles. Try to use a plastic and eco- friendly bottle. I personally love the Lifefactory bottles which are glass with a silicone cover for protection.

4. Add Natural 100% Fruit to Filtered Water: You can add real fruits to the water to add vitamins, flavor and sweetness. Try adding slices of strawberries, raspberries, lemons, limes or cucumbers. Make sure the fruits are organic if you are putting the skins of the fruits in the water. You also can add 100% certified organic juice to the water to taste instead of actual fruits.

5. Add a Natural Sweeter: You can add a natural sweeter if your sports drink is not sweet enough. Make sure this sweetener is truly wholesome and organic. Try raw honey (do not give honey to a child under the age of 12 months old), certified organic honey or Stevia.


A recent study compared filtered water with sea salt, conventional sports drinks and coconut water usage in athletes. All produced the same results in performance and hydration. Although the safety of the ingredients of products used was not taken into account, this study showed that filtered water with sea salt and coconut water is just as effective in hydration and performance as a conventional sports drinks. Simply make sure the coconut water is certified organic and Non-GMO. Dig in and shine beautifully!

 Dr. Lisa’s Homemade Orangeade Sports Drink Recipe go here and for her Homemade Strawberry Lemonade Sports Drink Recipe go here!


DSC05087Dr.Lisa Sulsenti is a well-known chiropractor and nutritionist in her community. She has helped thousands of patients reach amazing healing potential in body, mind and spirit. Over the past 15 years, she has counseled patients with various health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive problems, allergies, ear and sinus infections, back and joint pain, headaches and, of course, weight gain. Her gift is teaching her patients how to build the ultimate healthy exercise and menu plan: one that creates healing and everlasting weight-loss. Dr. Lisa is also created a wellness website that empowers others to prevent sickness and get healthy. She is a nutrition warrior and is currently creating My Food School, an online nutrition food class that will help you overcome your nutrition and diet problems. Dr. Lisa is also the author and founder of The Overtilted Child-book, support group and workshops where she teaches how to create sensational classrooms and healthy lifestyles for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorders and ADD/ADHD. She believes in the body’s amazing ability to heal itself in body, mind and spirit  when love, understanding and wisdom are embraced in home, school and in life!


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Food therapy consists of teaching parents effective tools to create nutritious and healthy diets for children with eating problems. I have been using food therapy in my office for over 15 years with amazing results. Once a parent learns what food therapy tools are and how to implement them correctly, a love for food will eventually emerge from the child. Such tools consists of identifying food and health issues, implementing food mapping, embracing food play, understanding food behavior and teaching food wisdom.

Food Therapy

  • Food & Health Issues
  • Food Mapping
  • Food Play
  • Food Behavior
  • Food Wisdom

Food and Health Issues

Children with food issues and/or health issues related to food such as obesity, high cholesterol, high sugar, digestive problems, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorders, and ADD/ADHD, benefit from a proper evaluation of their dietary intake to identify what components may be contributing to a food and/or health issue. Once this identification is made, then a plan on how to address the issue is developed.

Food Mapping

Food mapping is evaluating a child’s favorite foods and expanding a child’s likeness to try, accept and like new foods similar to his/her favorite foods. The goal is to map each week a new food item similar to the favorite foods while also introducing a bonus food, a new food item not related to the favorite foods. Food mapping is taught to both the parent and the child as they foster the understanding of proper food behavior and food wisdom.

Food Play

Food play is having fun with food and finding a place where the parent and child can bond and fall in love with various aspects of food. The goal is to get the child involved with shopping, preparing, cooking, eating and cleanup of nutritious meals. It begins with providing the parent and child with adaptive strategies for the identified food issue. For example, some children struggle with sitting, staying still or staying at the table due to smell, sight, and anxiety of food. Some children cannot tolerate touching food and/or the smells or textures of foods. Other children have issues such as spitting out food, gagging, crying, and throwing tantrums. Food play teaches adaptive strategies specific to a child’s food issue(s). Younger children are instructed to play and have fun with food in various creative ways, and older children encouraged to find, create and cook recipes. I have children food play with me in my office and at home with his/her parent and family to foster a safe feeling around food.

Food Behavior

Food behavior is discussing any food issues that may be related to or creating poor mealtime/food associated behaviors. The goal is to undo poor food behavior by teaching positive reinforcement management strategies for good food behavior. There is a delicate balance between the parent being in charge of meal time and food choices, but also allowing the child’s voice and needs to be heard. Once negative food behaviors (which are not necessarily the child or parent’s fault) are eradicated, a positive environment is created for successful growth in food mapping. I empower the parent to define and set clear rules as to what he/she expects from the child at meal time and what consequence will  happen when the rules are broken. I also encourage the parent to implement an adaptive strategy such as a positive reward system for good food behavior and successful food mapping.

Food Wisdom

Food wisdom is a crucial part of food therapy and also addressing food/health issues. Food wisdom is learning WHAT proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are good to eat and which should be avoided. Once understanding the WHAT and WHY behind the facts, food wisdom then teaches how to understand food recipes and ingredients and the importance of choosing healthy ones. This wisdom is what creates successful menu plans that will promote health, prevent health issues and create nutritious meals. I love using the STOP LIGHT principle in teaching what foods are awesome, not-the-the-best, and simply bad to eat. This can easily be used in the home as well. Once a parent and child understand the importance of good food choices and how to make them, food mapping takes off and food issues tend to disappear.

10 Steps to a More Positive Meal Time


  • Use the CLIMB THE LADDER process:  A child must be exposed many times to a new food before he/she is ready to climb the next step of the ladder. A child must tolerate many things such as being in the same room as new food, the sight, smell, feel and taste of it, chewing and swallowing it and ultimately, liking it.
  • Never spring on a new food to a child or try a new food in public. Give the child advance warnings that before the meal that there is a new food to try and it will be at the table in 10 min. Be as specific as you can and do not talk to the child while he/she is watching TV or playing. Make eye contact, get his full attention and give him a heads up with how much time until he sits with his new food.
  • Reward for the positive food behavior you desire and ignore the bad behavior. Set clear consequences if the child does not behave and stick with it. Do no engage with the child’s negative food behavior.
  • Implement adaptive food behavior strategies to help promote positive food behavior at meal time. Have all family members on board.
  • Learn how to food map and introduce properly one food mapping item and one bonus food time a week.
  • Snacks can be a huge cause of food problems. Keep them far from meal time and healthy.
  • Giving a healthy snack an hour or more before the meal is a great way to break up a meal and all the choices. Often, I give the veggie or fruit I was going to serve at the meal as the snack so my son does not get overwhelmed with too much food at table or on plate.
  • Have child make a menu for each day of week so he is involved in meal planning and choices. Give the child only two choices for each meal to choose from.
  • Make meal time fun and attractive using fun cups, plates and utensils.
  • Implement food play in your home to allow an emerging cook and good eater. Learn adaptive strategies of how to do so.



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Orangeade Sports Drink

February 28, 2014

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  When participating in breast cancer awareness,  we must pause and be mindful of the water choices we make.Are you aware how dangerous plastic water bottles are for our kids and family, this includes our water coolers in our homes and offices? If not, read on! We must look at the plastic used in the on- […]

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Strawberry Lemonade Sports Drink

February 15, 2013

Print Strawberry Lemonade Sports Drink Homemade sports drinks are superior in nutritional value than conventional ones. Here is one my son created and fell in love with. It ups the health factor and serves as sports drinks with sea salt and a fun drink without. You just can’t beat the minerals in homemade sports drinks. […]

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