Updated: Aug 2, 2020
The article below states a football player or soccer as it's called in the US, was hospitalized overnight after consuming two cans of a leading energy drink following match with friends. The teen presented as having a swollen tongue, inability to speak clearly with numbness in the arms and face. Thankfully the teen is back home and fully recovered.
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EDUCATION IS KEY
Medical professionals around the world agree, caffeine and stimulant containing energy drinks have no place in the diet of children and adolescents.
Energy drinks have shown to affect endothelial function by causing a narrowing of the blood vessels and restricted blood flow. This can create a flow-demand imbalance which is the classic setup for ischemia in the heart muscle. This can lead to ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac arrest.
Energy drinks have the potential to cause extreme dehydration. Caffeine acts as a diuretic causing the body to lose water. Exercise alone can dehydrate a person, so consuming caffeine-packed energy drinks before, during or after physical activity can worsen dehydration and be dangerous to the heart. The high concentration of sugar in energy drinks can also slow the body's ability to absorb water.
We often hear from concerned parents who’s children have been given energy drinks by their child’s coach before a game or by a team parent. Most people are unaware of the true dangers of energy drinks or confuse them with sports drinks which are meant to rehydrate.
Unfortunately, quite a few companies are now operating in a space that significantly blurs the lines between sports drinks and energy drinks. Some companies are producing products that are marketed as helping with rehydration and electrolyte balance, but also contain high levels of caffeine and other stimulants found in energy drinks. This merging of sports and energy drinks could cause serious confusion for consumers and result in unintentional consumption of large amounts of caffeine, when intending to drink only for hydration.
Energy drink consumption amongst children and adolescents is on the rise. The European Food Safety Authority estimates that 68% of adolescents, and 18% of children below 10 years of age consume energy drinks. A 2018 report found that more than 40% of American teens surveyed had consumed an energy drink within the past three months.
Please talk to the children and adolescents in your life about the dangers of energy drinks the same way you talk to them about drugs and alcohol.
For more information about youth consumption of energy drinks, please visit our website.