Doctors Warn of Dangers of Energy Drinks for Children

July 4, 2011

There are times we all need a pick me up, and with the young – particularly teenagers the new energy drinks are a fast fix. Usually full of sugar, caffeine and other ingredients such as ginseng and taurine they are easily available and very attractive to the eye. However, in a new report, experts are now urging children and teenagers to avoid them because of possible health risks.

“Children never need energy drinks,” according to Dr. Holly Benjamin of the American Academy of Paediatrics who worked on the new report. “They contain caffeine and other stimulant substances that aren’t nutritional, so you don’t need them.” Experts fear that kids are more vulnerable to the contents of the drinks than adults because if you drink them on a regular basis, it stresses the body. You don’t really want to stress the body of a growing person.”

The report speaks of the jumble of ingredients in the energy drinks which include vitamins and various herbal extracts which could have potential side effects that are not yet entirely understood. The report acknowledges that while there are not many documented cases of harm linked directly to the drinks, the stimulants contained within can disrupt the hearts rhythm and in some rare cases can lead to seizures.

Benjamin states that she recently saw a 15 year-old boy with ADHD who came to the hospital suffering from a seizure after drinking two bottles of Mountain Dew, a soft drink containing caffeine. The boy had also been taking stimulant ADHD medications and perhaps the combination of the drug and the extra caffeine had pushed him over the edge.


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