Energy drinks appeal to the young, not such a good thing

Filed under: Teens, Health & Safety: Babies, Nutrition: Health, Media, Gadgets

Last winter my son returned home from a day of snowboarding with more random energy than I had ever seen in him. Not only was he talking a mile a minute but he was also pacing back and forth. I asked what he had done, crossing my fingers that it wasn't too scary, and he confessed that he had consumed a Coke, two red Bulls and a two Monster energy drinks. I was so upset that I almost hit the roof. No, it wasn't as bad as a mother's worst nightmare, but those drinks are not good for kids.

As mentioned in this article, energy drinks are packed with everything from caffeine to large amounts of sugar to huge doses of vitamin B. Kids are prone to down several of these cans in a row which can result in rapid heart rates and caffeine overdosing. The rush is a large part of the appeal of these drinks. Marketed in particular to young boys and men, these drinks offer the promise of enhanced energy and increased athletic performance.

I did a little research into the ingredients of Monster, Red Bull, Rock Star and Coke. I showed my son just how much caffeine each drink had in relation to a cup of coffee. Some of the drinks had the caffeine content of four cups of coffee. We discovered that on the day of his intake he had consumed the equivalent of 12 cups of coffee. That nugget of information stopped him cold in his tracks. He said he would never dream of drinking even just one cup of coffee because it was gross. Knowing that he had consumed far more than that was enough to call him off of energy drinks. He still drinks the occasional Coke, but he no loner drinks any of the others.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.