While it seems kind of crazy that a warning needs to be put out regarding kids and their consumption of energy drinks (um, hello, why would you give a kid a Red Bull to begin with?), apparently there is some confusion between that and sports drinks. What do the docs have to say?
American Academy of Pediatrics members Marcie Schneider and Holly Benjamin reviewed energy drinks and sports drinks and concluded the following:
“Rigorous review and analysis of the literature reveal that caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diet of children and adolescents.”
Okay, not to sound rude, but isn’t this information that we already know?
Now it seems obvious to me that children absolutely should not be drinking energy drinks due to the high amounts of caffeine in them, but as far as teens go, it may be a bit harder to police their consumption. The amount of caffeine that these teenagers consume nowadays is ridiculous. I have one word: Starbucks. They’re addicted to that caffeine rush. I couldn’t believe it when my son told me that some of his friends make daily stops at the coffee house before school. When I was their age I wasn’t even drinking coffee! It’s the norm for many of these teenagers to have some sort of energy drink before a game as well, a sort of a ‘pick me up’ if you will, and I’ve seen first hand a parent bringing a Monster drink to her teenage daughter before her basketball game. Um, seriously?
Sports drinks, on the other hand, have been found to be okay, so no problem if you want to give your child a Gatorade or similar product after a game or ‘rigorous exercise’. Of course, they recommend that water should be given over any kind of sports drink, since they do contain calories. Not only that, it could lead to some extra trips to the dentist.
People, what it boils down to is the fact that kids/teens shouldn’t be consuming energy drinks. Read the labels. The amount of caffeine in one is similar to having 5 or so cups of coffee. You really want your kid drinking that?