Energy Drinks & Kids
Energy drinks are everywhere and they can be very attractive to kids, with their over-sized cans, slick marketing and wide availability. But you're right to wonder if energy drinks are bad for kids. Here are some of the reasons you might want to think twice before letting your kids down energy drinks.
- One of the biggest concerns regarding energy drinks is the high amount of caffeine, which acts like a stimulant in the body. Kids can be so sensitive to caffeine that a small amount can cause sleep disturbances, headaches, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, an increase in blood pressure, irritability, indigestion and nervousness. Kids may also experience withdrawal symptoms following exposure to caffeine.
- Guarana, another common ingredient in energy drinks, has many attributes, but its main impact comes from high caffeine content, which just adds to the punch of possible side-effects listed above.
- Caffeine is a diuretic: It causes a person to lose fluids. So kids need to be cautious when drinking energy drinks while exercising or participating in sports. They must remember to keep themselves hydrated with non-caffeinated beverages like water.
Energy drinks also contain a variety of other ingredients, such as ginseng and carnitine.
- Ginseng is a popular herbal remedy used for improving physical and mental performance. The amount of ginseng present in energy drinks is small, and there have not been any reported adverse effects.
- Carnitine is a protein found throughout the body and is a major source of energy for working muscles. Although there is not yet evidence that carnitine actually improves physical performance and its use in energy drinks has not been studied extensively, there have not been any reports of significant dangers to date.