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The Effects of Energy Drinks on Children

Energy Drinks and ChildrenHave you ever had one of those days where you couldn’t wake up?

As a Certified Personal Trainer I know I certainly have. To get through one of those days, a strong cup of coffee may be in order or even an energy drink. As a Sports Nutrition educator I can tell you the average energy drink contains ingredients such as caffeine, ginseng, B vitamins, sugar, taurine, green tea extract, guarana, green coffee extract, ginko biloba, and carnitine. While some of those ingredients may provide health benefits, the large dose of caffeine and sugar that you are consuming can do you more harm than good.

What affect will Energy Drinks have on your children?

That said, since energy drinks are not good for you, imagine what affect will they have on your children? Based on many studies that have been conducted throughout the United States on kids who consume high sugar caffeinated energy drinks, including one by the Yale School of Public Health, there has been a noticeable increase in hyperactivity and symptoms of inattention in kids attending Junior High School. Hyperactivity and inattention have a direct link associated with low grades, poor interpersonal skills, and potentially higher risk of injury.

Some of these drinks contain up to 62 grams of sugar in a 16 ounce can. Just to put this into context for you, 62 grams is equivalent to 15 teaspoons of sugar in the size of a small bottle. This high level of sugar consumption exceeds the World Health Organizations’ recommended daily allowance of no more than 10% of their daily calories equal to 12 teaspoons of sugar a day. A risk of consuming high levels of sugar can potentially lead to childhood obesity or even diabetes.

What is the solution to this problem?

Dr. Jeannette Ickovics, PhD, Director of the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement at the School of Public Health recommends children do not consume any energy drinks whatsoever. It is important to note that without the support of parents to help educate their children of the effects of these drinks, there will not be any changes to this ongoing problem.

Lisa Gervais BCRPA Certified Personal Trainer & ACE Certified Personal Trainer, BCRPA SFL , Supervisor of Full Time Personal Trainer Fitness Course

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