Dangers of energy drinks on kids
Do you really know what energy drinks are made of and how they can affect your body? Read on to find out why energy drinks should not be given to kids.
Energy drinks are probably just as popular among kids and adults these days as soda is. By and large, an average consumer associates such a beverage with personal health and wellness and does not think twice about taking in too much. After all, it is all about boosting energy levels. But do you really know what energy drinks are made of and how they can affect your body?
Why are energy drinks bad drinks -what do they contain?
Taking a good, hard look at the contents of bad drinks such as an energy drink, one can easily spot variations which come in many disturbing shapes and forms. While the various energy drink brands out there may differ in name, flavour and logo, each can, regardless of pedigree contains the following:
- Caffeine: The amount varies from brand to brand, but most contain two to three times the amount found in a cup of coffee or a can of soda.
- Taurine: This is an amino acid naturally produced in the human body (small intestine). It helps regulate the heartbeat and muscle contractions. Your body produces the amount you need–adding to that amount via energy drink works to increase the heartbeat and your energy level artificially.
- Guarana and Yerba Mate: These ingredients are nothing more than forms of caffeine. More stimulants equal more energy equals a more rapid heartbeat equals more stress on the heart.
- Ginseng: While an herb known for its energy-increasing and memory-boosting properties, it also lowers the blood pressure. While the amount of ginseng in energy drinks is well within the safe levels for human consumption, it battles some of the effects of caffeine and sugar; causing confusion in the body.
- L-Carnatine: Another naturally-produced amino acid (produced in the liver and kidneys), the body develops on its own all you need. Access amounts in the body have shown to raise your metabolism–contributing to lose weight and increased endurance.
- Milk thistle: This herb is found mainly in ‘rock-star’ brand energy drinks. The reason for it is to help avoid hangovers when energy drinks are mixed in with alcohol (a common practice).
- Sugars: The main ingredient in energy drinks is sugar–plain and simple. Energy drinks are chock-full of sugars. Sugars are carbs and carbs are energy; the type of energy that rises and falls hard and fast.
- B vitamins: Most energy drinks contain various B vitamins. Most B vitamins cannot be stored in the body, and the amounts are not excessive, so these pose no danger.
- Miscellaneous herbs and chemicals: Depending on the brand, energy drinks contain herbs and chemicals claiming to raise concentration, metabolism and energy levels whilst promoting weight loss and endurance.
What bad drinks like energy drinks do to your kids
We all know the buzz that comes from that morning cup of coffee–the one that gets us going each day. But did you also know that caffeine raises your heart rate and blood pressure? It can make you jittery and anxious. So can you imagine what it would do to your child, especially when ingested in large doses? It’s not only irresponsible on your part, but it is down-right dangerous! Add the other forms of caffeine to the mix and you’ve got double-trouble.
Kids who drink energy drinks also run the risk of sending mixed messages to their body. Some ingredients relax and enhance concentration while others rev the body into high gear. In simple terms, we are looking at a metabolic nightmare!
Parents who deny their children a candy bar or bag of gummy bears, but then buy them energy drinks are both misguided and misinformed, and dangerously so. You know the side effects of sugar as well as the long-term effects of too much sugar. Energy drinks are like a sugar-IV.
The claims made by makers of energy drinks are actually fairly accurate. Energy drinks do give you energy, raise your metabolism and increase endurance. But, the effects only last so long before it comes crashing down all too suddenly. Once down, kids and adults alike are often lethargic or jittery and feel as if they’re living in a fog. Not liking the way this feels, the majority of people will…you guessed it, pop another can of the same; kick-starting the whole process again. With the body being is in such a state of confusion, it cannot function properly.
What experts have to say -the impact of energy drinks on kids
Pediatricians and emergency room health care providers have seen an increase in energy-drink related anxiety attacks and illnesses over that last few years. While none of the ingredients is necessarily toxic or unsafe in and of itself, the amounts of sugar and caffeine in relationship to a child’s weight makes for a dangerous and possibly deadly combination.
Additionally, teachers and coaches regularly report incidents involving a student’s inability to concentrate and participate in class and on a sports team if they are consuming energy drinks.
The bottom line
As parents, it is our responsibility to provide an environment for our children that is safe, healthy, nurturing and secure. You wouldn’t dream of handing your child a pot of coffee and a box full of sugar-laden cereal and tell them to enjoy themselves. If you give your kids an energy drink, you may as well be doing just that. In this case, awareness and caution are key to guarantee your offspring’s well-being.
It is our desire to be a part of your child’s early stages of development, growth and well-being. With this informational piece on the dangers of energy drinks, we hope to educate parents on the adverse effects of a beverage which is both unnecessary and harmful in the long run. Thank you for reading and pass this message on.