Are Energy Drinks Appropriate for Kids?

Posted on: February 11th, 2013 by Chris No Comments

kidsdrinkingwaterWhen we talk about Energy drinks we are not talking about Sports drinks. Sports drinks like Gatorade have definite value for kids who play sports and need to replenish their fluids. But Energy drinks hold no benefit for children. In fact, reports say these drinks may not be safe for children’s health including their hearts.

Most Energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine and other chemicals like guarana, taurine, ginseng, L-carnitine, creatine, and/or glucuronolactone. These chemicals, including caffeine are known stimulants  As adults, we know what caffeine can do to us. It makes us anxious, jittery, dizzy and can sometimes make our heart race. So can you imagine what it can do to a child.  According to the American Association of Pediatrics this is not appropriate for a child’s diet.  And neither is most soda on the market.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says The actual caffeine content for many energy drinks is not easily identified on product packaging or via the Internet. The total amount of caffeine contained in some cans or bottles of energy drinks can exceed 500 mg (equivalent to 14 cans of common caffeinated soft drinks) and is clearly high enough to result in caffeine toxicity.23 A lethal dose of caffeine is considered to be 200 to 400 mg/kg.24

On the other hand, Sports drinks contain carbohydrates, minerals, electrolytes, and flavoring and are intended to replenish water and electrolytes lost through sweating during exercise.  So when needed these are appropriate  for kids.  But the American Association of Pediatrics warns, sports drinks should also be used only when needed.  But the number one drink for kids should still be water!

If you want to read more about what the American Association of Pediatrics says about Energy drinks, go here for the full report!




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