Pediatricians are now warning about the dangers of mixing energy drinks and kids. Energy drinks and kids' health is now a growing concern, especially as drinks such as Gatorade, Monster, and others are now replacing sodas at many schools, according to Time.
The concerned pediatricians have put together a report in the journal Pediatrics, advising teens and kids not to drink too many sports drinks and energy drinks.
For many parents, a sports drink such as Gatorade might seem a lot healthier than a high-sugar soda. But, according to the pediatricians, drinking too many sports drinks or energy drinks can lead to the some of the same concerns with kids drinking too much soda, according to Time.
For example, sports drinks still contain sugar and carbohydrates, and can be acidic. The extra carbohydrates will just add to a teen's calorie intake, and the acidity can wear down on kids' and teens' teeth, according to Time.
Energy drinks, such as Red Bull or Monster, seem to be even worse for kids and teens because of the addition of stimulants like caffeine. The stimulants are something that most teens do not need, according to the report. Children who drink too much caffeine can become more prone to anxiety, reports Time.
So, what should parents be giving their teens and kids? Water and milk. Water will provide teens with lots of great hydration, without the extra calories and stimulants. Milk can provide protein, vitamin D, and calcium, reports NPR.
But, according to Dr. Holly Benjamin, co-author of the new report, sports drinks could be appropriate for teens and kids who are athletes or are exercising at a high-level on a consistent basis. When a teen exercises, they need to be able to replenish sugar, sodium and potassium, which a sports drink could supply. But, most teens won't need this unless they've been exercising for at least an hour, reports NPR.
Energy drinks and kids seem like they should not be mixing - especially when pediatricians are concerned about the impact of energy drinks on kids' health. At the very least, parents should monitor their children's intake of these sugary beverages and make sure they do not fully replace water with Gatorade.