62.8% of high school students drank sweetened beverages daily, and 32.9% drank these beverages two or more times per day. That's a lot! We take a look at and analyze the potential risks for youth who drink sweetened drinks and energy drinks.
Are Energy Drinks Worth the Risk for Children?
In today's fast-paced world, where time flies and demands seem unyielding, energy drinks have become a tempting solution for many seeking a quick boost of vitality. Marketed as potent elixirs promising heightened awareness and enhanced performance, these energy beverages have surged in popularity among people of all ages. However, when it comes to children, these “life enhancers” may harbor a darker side. While energy drinks offer a concoction of caffeine, sugars, and stimulants that claim to deliver a surge of energy, those same ingredients also raise pertinent questions about their safety and suitability for the developing minds and bodies of children. What do the scientific studies and experts reveal about the potential risks these beverages may pose to our young ones?
While there are some significant findings in the research that would suggest that energy drinks are detrimental to children’s health, there is still need to do further research to truly understand the risks of consuming energy drinks. Here are a few potential risks that have been seen in the current research:
- Cardiac Arrhythmia
- Arterial Hypertension
- Caffeine-induced (anxiety and/or sleep) disorders
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
What Should Kids be Doing to Have More Energy?
- Establishing a routine sleeping schedule helps give children more energy as they will have more time to recover from their daily activities.
- Regular exercise enhances energy and alertness as exercise is a natural stimulant.
- Having a healthy and balanced diet will help increase energy because a balanced amount of nutrients will be consumed instead of more processed foods.
- Less screen time will help children, as well as anyone, live a more active lifestyle and avoid a sedentary one.
- Do not let your children drink energy drinks until they are over the age of 18 or at least until further studies can prove less long-term adverse effects.
- Help your children find ways to increase energy without drinking energy drinks by implementing a healthy diet and sleep schedule.
For a more comprehensive scientific summary about this topic, refer to: Li, et al. (2023)
References (Original Research):