Why Teens Shouldn’t Sip Energy Drinks Before Sports Practice

Recently we talked about how energy drinks can make middle schoolers hyperactive and distracted. In case that’s not enough of an incentive to cut back on these caffeinated beverages, this new study might change their minds. According to an article published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, research shows that energy drinks could be a serious danger to adolescents’ cardiac health.

Nearly one in three teens (ages 12-19) consume energy drinks regularly. That’s a lot of teens—and a lot of caffeine. Sometimes the actual amount of caffeine in these drinks is “masked” by the fact that it’s listed under another name, like guarana—a Brazilian plant, which Science Daily reports, is essentially the same as caffeine in coffee beans, but twice as strong.

Here’s what you need to know before giving your kids energy drinks, based on this new research:

  • One energy drink can per day is usually safe
  • Consuming energy drinks before or during sports practice should be avoided
  • If your teen has any underlying medical conditions, they should talk to their cardiologist before consuming these drinks
  • Mixing excessive amounts of energy drinks with alcohol or drugs could lead to adverse effects, including death

Dr. Sanchis-Gomar who led the study explains:

As ED consumption continues to grow, physicians are advised to ask adolescent patients whether they consume EDs, to be aware of the symptoms of ED overconsumption, and to discuss the dangers of EDs alone and mixed with alcohol.

It is important for physicians to understand the lack of regulation in caffeine content and other ingredients of these high-energy beverages and their complications so that parents and children can be educated about the risk of cardiac arrhythmias and the potential development of anxiety and phobias accompanying excessive ED consumption.

Share this information with teens, so that they consume caffeinated beverages responsibly. While they may rely on coffee for energy, nothing is more powerful than a good night’s sleep—or even a power nap! To help teens get more rest, try these tips.

For similar topics, check out Choices magazine! It’s a health, well-being, and life skills resource for teens published by Scholastic.

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