Did you know your kid can overdose on caffeine? It’s true. Energy drinks, which are filled with caffeine, are popular among young adults and teenagers. With names like Monster, Rockstar and Red Bull, it’s no wonder kids think the drinks are cool. But most energy drinks pack more caffeine than a 12 ounce soda or a cup of Joe.
Tuesday, the American Medical Association criticized the energy drinks market, supporting banning the marketing of high stimulant/caffeine drinks to adolescents under the age of 18.
These drinks continue to gain popularity among teens, concerning health advocates.
“Energy drinks contain massive and excessive amounts of caffeine that may lead to a host of health problems in young people, including heart problems, and banning companies from marketing these products to adolescents is a common sense action that we can take to protect the health of American kids,” said AMA board member Alexander Ding, M.D.
Caffeine is defined as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system. Many adults depend on it to feel alert and energetic and to get through the day. But too much caffeine can cause jitteriness and nervousness, upset stomach, headaches, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure in both adults and children.
Because energy drinks pack a lot of caffeine, kids who drink them, are at a greater risk of over-consuming caffeine.
It’s not just the caffeine that should worry parents, but the sugar. These drinks are loaded with sugar. With so many overweight children, excess sugar shouldn’t be a part of the diet. Caffeinated beverages also replace healthy ones like water and low-fat milk. Sugary drinks can cause cavities and can lead to dehydration.
Today, the Federal Food and Drug Administration is studying the effects of caffeine on children and adolescents while investigating reports of illness, injury or death of people who drank products marketed as energy drinks.