Energy Drinks – Why Kids and Teens Should Avoid Them

There is growing demand (and confusion) about sports drinks and energy drinks. With the increased popularity of sports / energy drinks, we are seeing more and more cases of negative reactions experienced by the kids and teenagers who consume them.

Sports drinks contain extra calories that children don’t need, and can contribute to obesity and tooth decay. They also contain large amounts of unbalanced carbohydrates, vitamins and electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium which young kidneys and livers have to work to expel.

Energy drinks contain stimulants such as caffeine, guarana, ginseng and taurine which tax adrenal glands, and kidneys.  These stimulates have been linked to increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Parents should be aware that kids and teens are more susceptible to the effects of energy drinks due to their smaller, more sensitive and growing bodies than adults are. With the US energy drink market expected to reach $9 billion in 2011 it’s no surprise that energy drink manufactures are downplaying a May 30, 2011 report in Pediatrics warning about the hazards of energy drink consumption by youngsters.

Did I mention that kids and young adults account for half of this $9 billion dollar market?! Experts recommend kids and teens quench their thirst with good ‘ole water or if they’re and athlete

A 2007 Institute of Medicine report recommends that kids drink NO energy drinks and restrict sports drinks to use by athletes ONLY during prolonged, vigorous sports activities. This probably doesn’t apply to a Muppet soccer game, by the way. The goal of most sports activities in kids should be simple rehydration. Perhaps the red dye # whatever in Kool-Aid isn’t so bad after all.

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