Energy And Sports Drinks Not Good For Kids

In a new report, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that energy and sports drinks are harmful for children and teens. The report calls for a total elimination of energy drinks and a near-elimination of high sugar sports drinks.

Many of these drinks, like Red Bull and Monster, are becoming increasingly popular in kids’ diets but, as the report notes, they can cause high blood pressure, high heart rates and insomnia.

Parents, Beware!

In addition to caffeine, energy drinks include high amounts of sugar and herbal stimulants such as guarana and taurine. Some have up to 500 mg of caffeine, the equivalent of 14 cans of soda. Scary stuff!

Here’s what the report states:

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. Furthermore, frequent or excessive intake of caloric sports drinks can substantially increase the risk for overweight or obesity in children and adolescents.


Water Is Best For Most Kids Exercising


The authors of the current report and a study published in the journal Pediatrics last February pointed to statistics that showed about half of the nation’s 5,448 reported caffeine overdoses in 2007 were in people under age 19, although it’s not known how many of the cases were the result of energy drink consumption.

The manufacturer of Red Bull refuted the AAP’s study saying a can has about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee and includes ingredients that European health officials have declared to be safe. However, users of energy drinks may chug them more quickly than they would hot coffee because they’re served cold.

“For most children engaging in routine physical activity, plain water is best,” Dr. Holly Benjamin, from the AAP Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, and co-author of the report, said.

Teacher And Parents – Take Action!

As a teacher, I do see students gulping down those energy drinks, but they won’t bring either energy drinks or any other canned soda into my classroom, since they know those cans will be emptied and tossed into the recycling immediately.

The problem is that parents often see sports drinks as a healthy alternative to soda and fruit juice, so they let children drink them all day. But although they have fewer calories than soda and fruit juice per 8 oz serving, they typically come in much larger 32 oz bottles, so your child ends up with more sugar and calories if he drinks the whole bottle, as many kids do.

Let’s try and stop our kids getting addicted to some potentially harmful ingredients.

Photo Credit: Kristian D. via Creative Commons


Miriam B.
Miriam B7 years ago

"This is a matter of parents regulating and paying more attention to what their kids are consuming." True Jess D. but many parents don't pay attention till they either have to pick their child up from juvie or from the morgue!

Miriam B.
Miriam B7 years ago

tried to post earlier but it wouldn't let me! too much of anything is not good for yur body, but especially stimulants! and for children who have no nutritional benefit from them!

KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B7 years ago

They are not good for adults too.

Lika S.
Lika P7 years ago

If kids really need that mid day pick me up, what's wrong with offering orange or apple juice... if you're still worried about high sugar levels, offer fresh fruits like strawberries. It's natural, high in real vitamin C & fiber, and no real side effects unless you're allergic.

Faith Purdy
Faith Purdy7 years ago

i'm in highschool and i personally have a friend who had to go to the hospital because she had too much caffeine and didn't know that her matabolism couldn't handle it, though she found this out because of a painkiller not an energy drink.
i am also friends with someone who cannot have monster because he drank it so frequently that it ate away at his stomach lining and his doctor told him if he kept up the habit his stomach could litteraly tear open and the stomach acid chould kill him!

clara H.
Clara Hamill7 years ago

I think the survey was worded wrongly. There is nothing wrong for energy drinks every now and then for adults who need a pick me up. I drink them every now and then and know better than to drink more than one a day and no more than once or twice a week. I think the question should of been are energy drinks bad for kids. I think they should be banned in schools not for adults who know what they are doing.

Patrick H.
Patrick Ho7 years ago

Thanks for sharing! There are spreading news of DEHP found in many sport drinks and foods as well in Taiwan for last couple of week.
So, better be a smart consumer to know what you are paying for.

Bernadette P.
berny p7 years ago

This is just common sense! Parents ought to know better than to give these drinks to kids and teens.

Manufactuers will do ...ANYTHING to make money...just look at the money they spend on advertising...soft..alcoolic drings....this should be stopped too.

Paula Hurley
.7 years ago

This is a "no brainer"

Lynnette Bower
Lynnette Bower7 years ago

This would be no surprise to anyone who reads (the can I mean).