There’s no doubt your schedule is overloaded. Between regular schoolwork, exams, jobs, teams and a busy social life, it’s no wonder you feel low on energy. That’s why an increasing number of teens are turning to the category of new high-energy drinks to stay focused. Users say they pack a buzz and fulfill their promise to supply a much appreciated burst of energy. Our question is, at what price? Why have France, Denmark, Norway, and Argentina placed a ban on them? What’s the truth and what’s the hype? Read on this energy drink info before you drink up.
Energy drinks are packed with natural ingredients like herbs.
Truth: The amount of herbs in most energy drinks is so small it doesn’t have an impact.
One can gives the same buzz as a cup of coffee.
Truth: Although the 80 milligrams of caffeine found in most energy drinks is the same as in a cup of strong black coffee, picture squeezing the caffeine dose of 24 ounces of Pepsi® into an 8.4 ounce can!
The ingredients listed on the can include amino acids, tropical plant’s seeds, and B vitamins.
Truth: The main ingredients in high-energy drinks are caffeine or sugar.
Energy drinks are just heavily caffeinated soda pop. What harm can they do?
Truth: Doctors are afraid the sugary beverages, consumed regularly, contribute to obesity, sleep disorders, tooth decay, hyperactivity, restlessness, headaches, anxiety, mood disorders, higher blood pressure, and possibly ADHD.
When your schedule slows down, then you’ll cut down on your consumption.
Truth: Studies have shown that teens are vulnerable to caffeine withdrawal, which causes a person to feel angry and have a problem thinking clearly.
High-energy drinks are the same as sports drinks.
Truth: Sports drinks replace the electrolytes lost in sweat, helps hold water in the bloodstream, and helps speed rehydration. Caffeine is a diuretic that actually dehydrates you further. They are NOT the same.
The energy burst lasts for as long as you need it.
Truth: The energy is short lived. It might last for 45 minutes but then you come down hard and feel worse off than before. Some kids end up drinking more just to prevent that sluggish feeling, leading scientists to worry about dependency and withdrawal symptoms.
These new drinks are just enhanced soda.
Truth: High-energy drinks have as many as five teaspoons of sugar and three times as much caffeine as soda.
The sky rocketing growth of these energy drinks is proof they’re doing a good job.
Truth: Critics are worried that while the sales of regular soda are flat or declining, the growth of these thin, wide mouthed cans is due to consumers becoming physically addicted, either by drinking them every day or by binging on several at a time to improve their mood.
Adults drink coffee every day so what’s the big deal if kids drink high-energy drinks?
Truth: There is very little research about the health effects of caffeine and ephedrine (another ingredient in most drinks) on teenagers. But it’s important to remember that the adolescent brain is still growing. It is wiring itself up until around age 21. So the choices we make in our youth could affect how our brain develops.
Our advice? Before your next test, fill up on chocolate milk!