By Joy Feldman NC, JD
Children as young as twelve years old are guzzling energy drinks. They have a long day of school, then sports practice and late nights of studying ahead of them. How do these young people make it through? Ah, yes, those Energy drinks- sexy, sparkling and sweet. Yet many do not realize that 1 energy drink has the equivalent of 12 teaspoons of sugar and 2 shots of expresso. And even more alarming, kids often imbibe more than one of these drinks a day.
What they don’t often realize is that these fizzy high-caffeinated energy drinks, can cause negative health, social, emotional and behavioral issues which can include dehydration, heart complications like irregular heartbeat and heart failure, anxiety and insomnia. In fact, “Hospital ER visits by 12- 17 years olds linked to energy drinks increased from 1145 in 2007 to 1499 in 2011.” ( Nutrition Review,2011) And sadly, drinking too many of these super powered drinks in a daily dose, can even result in death. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that “energy drinks are not appropriate for children and adolescents and should never be consumed.”
So what are your options? Try replacing your afternoon energy drink with these healthier alternatives:
- Drink Water– Best energy drink. When you are dehydrated, metabolic actions slow and you feel sluggish.
- Healthy Protein Rich Snack- Food is fuel and lean proteins along with healthy fats and complex carbs will deliver nutrients to your body and promote energy.
- Drink some vegetables-Dark green vegetables such as spinach, parsley and kale used in green drinks are a great source of B vitamins which your body requires for metabolism to run at its peak.
- Take a nap -A 30 minute snooze can relieve stress and bolster the immune system.
Here’s to your health!