It’s a fact that energy and sports drinks have a high content of calories, sugar and caffeine. According to national data, these drinks have experienced a huge surge in popularity in recent years, tripling in consumption among adolescents. And now, a study by researchers from the University of Minnesota and Duke University, found that consumption of sports and energy drinks contributes to a growing cluster of unhealthy behaviors among adolescents. The study finds a link between smoking, high consumption of other sugary drinks, and prolonged time watching TV or playing video games with weekly sports and energy drinks consumption.
The study highlighted that boys who consumed energy drinks at least weekly spent approximately 4 additional hours per week playing video games, compared with those who consumed energy drinks less than once per week. Parents should be concerned. Health professionals are very concerned.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) position on these drinks is that sports drinks should only be consumed by adolescents after vigorous and prolonged physical activity. (Water or chocolate milk is a better alternative, in my opinion). The AAP also asserts that energy drinks should not be consumed as they offer no health benefits and increase risks for overstimulation of the nervous system.
Parents, there are no good reasons to give your children energy drinks. There are better alternatives to sports drinks (see www.coast-physical-therapy-services.com/blog/2010/07/31/stop-wasting-money-on-sports-nutrition-beverages).
If you want your children to have more energy, get them to exercise on a regular basis. Or better yet, exercise with them.