Many children and teenagers enjoy consuming energy drinks because of the extra boost they provide, enabling them to focus better and improve in sports or school. In fact, a March 2011 article in Pediatrics states that approximately 30 to 50 percent of young people consume the products.
However, even though the drinks may be popular, there is compelling evidence that shows energy drinks have no real therapeutic benefits and can have adverse effects on a young person’s health. After learning about the risks energy drinks pose, parents of children and adolescents may want to steer them away from the drinks to healthier options.
About Energy Drinks
There is a variety of stimulating ingredients in energy drinks, including vitamins, sugars, herbal supplements and an excessive amount of caffeine. Some energy drinks, in particular, can have over 500 mg of caffeine, which is equal to 14 cans of carbonated soda. Along with the lethal amount caffeine, the extreme amounts of sugar and the other substances typically used in energy drinks, there should be concern about how a young person’s body can be affected. Researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics assert that the stimulants used in energy drinks should not be included in the diet of kids.
Downsides of Energy Drinks
According to a report from Pediatric Emergency Care, 33 percent of young people between 12 and 18 years of age who were surveyed stated that they consume energy drinks often. Young people who follow this practice can begin to experience a number of health complications.
Short Term Effects
Children and teenagers who consume energy drinks place themselves at risk of numerous short-term issues, including:
- Upset stomach
- Headaches or migraines
- Difficulty with being able to sleep regularly
- The inability to concentrate when the caffeine wears off
- The need to urinate frequently
Consistently drinking energy drinks can result in several long-term health-related issues that can be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse. They include:
- Decay of teeth from the large amounts of sugar
- Ailments related to excessive weight gain, such as type 2 diabetes
- Poor bone development due to how the caffeine inhibits calcium absorption
- Neurological conditions, such as seizures
- Mood and behavioral disorders
- Tachycardia and other conditions related to the heart
In a recently published report, researchers surveyed 612 adolescents over a period of two years at two emergency departments. Of the 33 percent who admitted drinking energy drinks often, 76 percent of them had endured headaches within the last six months, and 22 percent had difficulty breathing.
At Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we care about your child's teeth, and we urge you to discuss the side effects with them and how harmful energy drinks can be to their body. If your child is complaining of tooth pain or sensitivity, contact us today to schedule an appointment.