When it Comes to Young Athletes, Mom's Got Game

Study Shows Moms are Fueling Youth Sports Success

Mar 21, 2011, 10:00 ET from Gatorade

CHICAGO, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As youth athletics have become more widespread, competitive and time consuming, moms have elevated their game to support their kids in sports. Seventy percent of moms are raising kids in competitive sports, creating a group of "Sports Moms" nearly 13 million strong, according to the "Gatorade Sports Moms Study," a poll of 900 moms of middle and high school students.

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Sports Moms spend one-third more time and more than twice as much money across their children's entire span of extracurricular activities than moms without kids in sports. Despite this, 79 percent of Sports Moms report that it's "no problem" balancing these added demands with their other responsibilities, further reinforcing their commitment to their kids' sports. And according to the study, of all the things moms do to support their athletes' success, they say the area where they have the greatest influence is in their athletes' nutrition.

"We continually conduct research with athletes of all ages to better understand their physiological needs and how to help them advance athletic performance. We not only know athletes but also what fuels them. This study was unique because we looked at the mom behind the athlete to see what she does to fuel her athletes' success," said Sarah Robb O'Hagan, president of Gatorade North America and global chief marketing officer for PepsiCo sports nutrition. "We found that Sports Moms play a major role in their athletes' lives, but they feel they make the biggest impact in their athletes' nutrition. This is incredibly significant based on the essential role sports nutrition plays in athletic performance."

The study polled moms to identify their perceived roles, challenges, motivations and rewards, as it relates to their children's sports, and took a deeper dive to better understand the moms behind today's young athletes. The study was conducted by Glass Box Research on behalf of Gatorade, a company with more than 40 years of athletic insights and sports science expertise.

Nutrition is a Sports Moms' Game

Youth athletes need balanced meals that provide appropriate nutrients, vitamins, minerals and caloric intake to fuel their sports performance, and Sports Moms overwhelmingly agree (94 percent) that proper nutrition is important for their young athletes to perform at their best. The study found that there are additional nutritional challenges when raising an athlete. For examples, moms reported that kids in sports eat an extra meal a week and two more meals away from home than kids who aren't in sports.

Despite their commitment to nutrition, Sports Moms have concerns and knowledge gaps around their #1 role, including:


  • Seventy-five percent of Sports Moms don't know that in order to help promote muscle recovery, their athletes should consume protein within a 30-60 minute window post-exercise.


  • Seventy-six percent of Sports Moms think their kids are properly hydrated, but research shows that 70 percent of teen athletes show up for athletic events dehydrated.

Pre- and post-game fuel

  • Forty percent feel their athletes don't get the right nutrients to keep them on top of their game during practice and competition.
  • More than half report that their kids aren't eating appropriately to fuel before practice.
  • Almost half admit their athletes are unable to eat a meal within an hour of practice or competition.

Helping Moms Help Their Athletes

Recognizing the important role Sports Moms play in their kids' athletic lives, Gatorade has devoted a new site to help moms support their athletes' quests to become their best. Found at Gatorade.com/moms, the site is a resource for sports nutrition information, training tips and advice straight from scientists at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI). GSSI serves as Gatorade's research and educational facility dedicated to better understanding sports nutrition science and exercise physiology. On the site, Sports Moms can view videos featuring moms of youth and professional athletes who have shared their sacrifices, hopes and dreams for their kids in sports. For more information visit Gatorade.com/moms.

About Gatorade

The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), provides sports performance innovations designed to meet the needs of athletes at all competitive levels and across a broad range of sports. Gatorade Thirst Quencher® is backed by more than 40 years of research and is scientifically formulated and athletically proven to quench thirst, replace fluids and electrolytes, and provide carbohydrate energy to enhance athletic performance. The company's product portfolio is built around the G Series™, a 1-2-3 approach to athlete nutrition and hydration before (Gatorade Prime 01™), during (Gatorade® Perform 02 and G2® Perform 02), and after (Gatorade Recover 03™) training or competition. For more information, please visit www.gatorade.com.

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales each. Our main businesses -- Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi Cola -- also make hundreds of other enjoyable and wholesome foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of approximately $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo's promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment, including by conserving energy and water usage, and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support, and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.

Glass Box Research, leading market research firm, polled 900 Moms with children attending either high school or middle school, including 600 Sports Moms and 300 non-sports moms. Results include moms nationwide using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total United States population. The online survey was conducted between January 20, 2011 and January 21, 2011. Glass Box Research is headquartered in Chicago.

SOURCE Gatorade