“Energy” drinks can cause danger to children and teens, including cardiac problems and seizures.
This finding comes from poison control experts at Rutgers University, and they note that kids at highest risk are ones who consume these “energy” beverages regularly.
Also, ingesting a large amount in a short period puts children at risk for harm.
Why are energy drinks so bad for children?
Bruce Ruck, one of the Rutgers investigators, says that energy drinks not only can make a child all wired up, but can disrupt their sleep, cause agitation and anxiety (sounds like ADHD). Kids on energy drinks may also experience tremors, heart palpitations, rapid heart rate, nausea, vomiting and seizures, adds Ruck.
Treat these drinks as though they are medications, urges Ruck; keep them away from children and teens.
Energy drinks aren’t necessarily safe for adolescents and teens who engage in tough workouts, either. Steven Marcus, another researcher, says that the combination of energy drinks “with strenuous exercise in hot weather can produce a potentially fatal situation.” This doesn’t mean that energy drinks in cold weather are safe.
Who needs energy drinks, anyway?
I’m a certified personal trainer, and the gyms I train at sell these products. I’ve had clients asking me if they’re any good. I ask them, “What did ancient man use for an energy boost?”
And believe me, primitive peoples needed a LOT of energy just to survive. They got by without brightly colored, spiffy looking shiny little bottles of factory-made fluids.
If you want an energy boost, do 30 jumping jacks and then splash cold water on your face for a few minutes.
Young kids and even adults are drawn to the cleverly designed packaging of energy drinks, as well as their names, such as Rockstar, Six-Hour Power and Monster. The developer of 5 Hour Energy has made a fortune off of consumers’ gullibility.
An issue of Clinical Toxicology reports that children younger than six, who had consumed caffeine-laden energy drinks, made up over half the energy drink related toxicity patients involving pediatric illnesses that were reported to the U.S. National Poison Data System.
Ruck also points out that other ingredients in energy drinks can be harmful to kids, such as DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine), an amphetamine-like substance which can raise blood pressure.