Energy Drinks: the Not so Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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December 12, 2012 by thehealthyheartcenter

According to a recent survey, energy drinks are consumed by 30-50% of adolescents.  Below is a list of potential adverse effects of adolescent consumption of energy drinks.

Cardiovascular: The high levels of caffeine in energy drinks can cause an increase in blood pressure and increases the risk of hypertension.  There is also a concern with heart arrhythmias and sudden death (death is commonly seen in children who consume two or more energy drinks and a short period of time). 

ADHD: Children with ADHD have a higher rate of substance abuse, specifically caffeine.  High caffeine intakes during adolescent years can lead to caffeine abuse later in life.  Researchers are also unsure the combined effect of ADHD medicine, antidepressants and caffeine. 

Diabetes: Many energy drinks packed with tablespoons of sugar.  These additional calories may increase blood glucose levels in diabetics.  The combination of sugar and caffeine may also increase postprandial hyperglycemia. 

Bone Health: Researchers have two theories on energy drink’ negative effects on bone health. 1.Caffeine may have an effect on bone acquisition during adolescent years. 2. Children may be replacing milk with caffeinated beverages therefore decreasing their consumption of calcium and Vitamin D- two important micronutrients for bone health. 

Conclusion: Children should not consume energy drinks. 

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3065144/

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Authors

Dr. Wali Gauvin

Kendra Fink RD CPT

Jessica Griffin: Intern

Julianna Yi: Intern

Marielle Mangano: Intern

Jackie Page: Intern

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