What’s in Your Tween’s Energy Drink?

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

The latest news on energy drinks is alarming. Unfortunately, kids of all ages have easy access to these drinks and Tweens are one of the biggest consumers of them.

What’s really in those energy drinks anyway? According to our research, energy drinks may contain:

  • Caffeine – and plenty of it! They contain between 70 and 200 mg of caffeine – an 8 ounce cup of coffee only includes 110-150 mg!  Caffeine raises blood pressure, heart rate, and leads to dehydration. It can also cause sleeplessness, headaches, nausea, difficulty concentrating, heart palpitations, and anxiety.
  • Taurine – this may be a new word to some. It is an amino acide that is naturally produced by the body. It helps regulate heartbeat, muscle contractions, and energy levels. In the past, it has been banned by some countries but that ban has been lifted. It is considered a “mild inhibitory neurotransmitter”.
  • Guarana – derived from a plan in South America, this is known to increase alertness and energy and is more dense in caffeine. It is a stimulant – just another cause of anxiety, stress, and restlessness.
  • Sugar – a known stimulant for most people, and energy drinks contain tons of it in most cases. Many energy drinks have the equivalent of 2-3 full size candy bars!
  • Artificial Sweeteners – even high sugar versions of the energy drinks often include artificial sweeteners. Aspartame, Sucralose, Ace-K, and even some alcohol sugars are used in some drinks. The ongoing debate about the effects of artificial sweetener continue.
For more information on energy drinks, including caffeine and sugar per ounce by major name-brand drinks, visit this University of California link. Be sure to multiply the numbers by the number of ounces consumed for totals.

These ingredients may be included in your Tween’s energy drink, so check the label and be sure you both know what’s being consumed. The Tween years can cause enough anxiety, stress, and frustration without the aid of caffeine-laced drinks with other unnecessary ingredients. But the decision is up to you once you know what’s in the drinks and how it can affect your Tween.

Helping your child learn to read labels at an early age and make the best nutritional choices is a gift for life.