25th February 2021
A Warning To Parents About Energy Drinks
A warning to parents about energy drinks. They come in colorful cans and have clever names.
"There's currently about 100 different energy drinks out there and they all claim to boost the athletic performance and the performance in the classroom," said Dr. Kristin Lombardi, a cardiologist at the pediatric heart center at Hasbro Children's Hospital.
And adolescents are drinking it all up. A recent survey showing 40% of teenagers reported consuming at least one.
"The main problem with energy drinks is the excessive amounts of caffeine that are in them," said Lombardi. "As much as 500 milligrams of caffeine which is equivalent to fourteen cans of Mountain Dew."
And because the FDA has no oversight of these products, labels may not be accurate.
"A lot of them contain other additives such as taurine and ginseng and some other chemicals which have been associated with palpitations and seizures and some other cardiac issues," said Lombardi.
If a child has an underlying heart condition, over consumption of energy drinks could land them in the hospital.
"It's especially dangerous to consume these energy drinks as a rehydration to drink after sports exercise because the chemicals in them aren't actually -- the caffeine actually dehydrates you even further," said Lombardi.
So, as a parent, how do you know if your child is overdoing it?
Watch for signs. They may be sweaty and jittery and have trouble sleeping, trouble focusing.
"Drinks can cause anxiety, they can cause fast heart rate, they can cause an increase in blood pressure," added Lombardi.
The guidelines for caffeine intake by teens are clear.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended no more than 100 milligrams of caffeine a day for teenagers and that's equivalent to one cup of coffee," said Lombardi, who suggests you talk to your child -- see if he or she is drinking energy drinks and how much.
And make sure they understand the possible dangers.
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