Caffeine isn’t the only substance in energy drinks that give consumers a jolt. If you read the label, you’ll also find B vitamins, guarana, ginseng, green tea extracts and taurine, all known energy inducers. Due to the natural bitterness of caffeine, lots of sugar is often added to these drinks to make them taste syrupy sweet.
So along with a surge of energy, kids can get a sugar high, which ironically can lead to a sugar crash. As more and more people are watching caloric intake, sugar-free versions of these energy drinks are becoming more popular, including with teens. Many kids report drinking them as a supplemental weight loss product. With all that’s in energy drinks, research published last year in the Journal of the American Heart Association warns that there is little known about the safety of some of the ingredients. Now that’s something to be concerned about.
With so many of these drinks flooding the market, teens have many to choose from and they don’t have to go far to find them. Just one visit to the supermarket, or convenience or health food store is all it takes to purchase one.
The companies producing energy drinks do a fantastic job of marketing their beverages to young people. It doesn’t take long to spot logos such as Red Bull or Monster at football games, Formula One races or snowboarding competitions, and at other popular sporting events. Energy drink companies even have sports personalities backing up their products, giving them the facade of being a “healthy” beverage that makes you perform better. Unfortunately, teens are drinking up that message. Adolescents report that they perceive energy drinks as a healthy alternative to soda. It can’t be that bad if it contains vitamins right? Of course, the truth is that these drinks can be extremely dangerous to teens.
Dangers Associated With Energy Drinks
In a study from Chapman University, 40 percent of teens reported an adverse effect while consuming energy drinks. These included:
- Abdominal pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Chest pains
- Gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Heart palpitations
- Heightened anxiety
- Feeling jittery or experiencing tremors