Teens and Energy Drinks: a Potentially Dangerous Combination

Here’s what every parent needs to know about the health risks teens face from drinking these beverages.

Energy Drinks are one of the fastest growing beverage products on the global market. The worldwide market is projected to increase to $84.8 billion by 2025, according to a report from the business consulting firm Grand View Research. It found that teens alone consumed $16.3 billion worth of energy drinks in 2016, and adolescent consumption is only expected to rise.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, alongside multivitamins, energy drinks are the most sought after dietary supplement consumed by teens and young adults, with males between 18 and 34 drinking the most energy drinks and about one-third of kids ages 12 to 17 consuming them regularly.

These drinks offer the promise of boosting mental and physical energy along with increased performance, making them highly appealing to young people. The main ingredient in these drinks is caffeine. Known for increasing mental alertness, this stimulant is the most widely consumed drug in the U.S.

Found in products like chocolate, coffee, teas and many sodas, caffeine is often thought of as a harmless drug. And that may be true if it’s consumed in moderation, but these energy drinks contain between 70 to 200 milligrams of caffeine per serving!

Scientists agree that it’s OK for a healthy adult to have up to about 400 mg of caffeine per day(equivalent to four cups of coffee), but a teen, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids between the ages of 12 and 18 should not consume more than 100 mg (a cup of coffee, a couple of cups of tea or about two sodas) per day.

Additionally, the Academy recommends that kids steer clear of energy drinks altogether. Unfortunately, our young people aren’t heeding that advice. Adolescents are reportedly the fastest-growing population of caffeine users in America. Research indicates 83 percent of teens drink caffeinated beverages regularly, and nearly 96 percent consume them occasionally.

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