When it comes to children and even teenagers, caffeine is bad news.
A new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics is berating parents for letting kids drink energy and sports drinks and for confusing the two.
Sugar, Sugar, Sugar
Most sports drinks and caffeinated beverages have calories and sugar which can lead to dental erosion and more importantly weight gain.
Pediatricians say that kids and teenagers should only use sports drinks when they really need them, such as when they are involved in strenuous physical activity.Â It is important for athletes of all ages to replenish sugar, sodium and potassium, the sodium replaces salt lost while sweating and sugar helps keep energy levels up,Â however, a person needs to have exercised intensely for at least an hour before they need to replenish these nutrients with sports drinks.
Don't confuse exercise duration and intensity. Just because a kid is at basketball practice for two hours, that doesn't mean they are exercising intensely the whole time.
The only other appropriate time for sports drinks are for rehydration during an illness.
Water is the better choice no matter what.
Caffeine Is Addictive, No Matter How Old You Are
Did you know that the side effects from too much caffeine are an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, speech, increase the risk of dehydration, anxiety levels and could even lead to insomnia?
"There's great concern about what [caffeine] does over time or in high doses to a young, growing body that's not fully mature," said Dr. Holly Benjamin, coauthor of the new report.
Caffeinated and sports drinks are not really good for people of any age. Make sure to set a good example for your kids and drink water as much as possible.
- Pediatricians Warn Against Energy And Sports Drinks For Kids (NPR)
- Clinical Report-Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks for Children and Adolescents: Are They Appropriate? (Pediatrics)
- Pediatrics Group: Energy Drinks No Good for Kids (WebMD)