Are energy drinks safe for kids?
Energy drinks are popular beverages among both adults and teenagers. Packed in appealing designs, they taste really good just like fruit juice or soda water. And as the name shows, they are claimed to give you some energy and power, which regular water cannot offer. The thing is, however, whether or not energy drinks are safe for kids?
Pros of energy drinks
Energy drinks do help you recover energy to some extent in a short period of time, especially when you’ve just finished a long-distance running or vigorous exercise. This is because they contain sugar, or carbohydrates that can provide immediate energy without any delay. On the other hand, the sodium, potassium and other electrolytes you’ve lost during sweating can be replenished from these drinks.
Cons of energy drinks
However, this is exactly where the problem sits. To offer sufficient energy for your body, manufacturers tend to add in lots of sugar, leading to weight gain, dental caries, and type-2 diabetes.
A good deal of caffeine will also be added. A regular cup of coffee contains about 90mg of caffeine, while energy drinks can vary from 50mg to 500mg. What the label says couldn’t be true at all times, so you may have even more caffeine per container. According to the experts, kids under 12 years old should take in caffeine no more than 100mg per day. Too much caffeine brings many side effects to children, such as nervousness, headaches, sleeping problems and so on. In some cases, they may even develop high blood pressure, fast heartbeats, hallucinations, and seizures.
What you should do
In fact, it’s totally enough to give your kids regular water after exercising. For better flavors, you can also look for water with natural sliced fruit, flavored seltzer water, or herbal tea. If you worry about energy loss, some healthy snacks like fresh fruit and whole-wheat crackers will help.
As parents, it is also important to help your children develop healthy living habits. Ensure them plenty of nutrition intake, and ask them to move more. Tell them about the negative effects of energy drinks and all the other junk food, and help them make a list of healthy alternatives instead.
Basically, energy drinks are not completely healthy for adults, let alone still-growing children. Pick energy drinks out of your “rewards list” for your kid, as there’re better ways to let them be happy and energetic.