Energy drinks are labeled wrong. They don’t energize you – they stimulate you.
Research shows that beyond a brief caffeine high, there are actually no health benefits to energy drinks. In fact, the combination of different chemicals is likely to do more harm than good, especially for children.
Some of the unwelcome side effects of the drinks include elevated heart rates, hypertension, anxiety, headaches and interrupted sleep patterns. A recent study by the University of Miami suggests even more serious outcomes, such as heart palpitations, strokes and sudden death.
Listen, I know it’s hard to believe that something that looks like soda could cause any of these symptoms. But let’s look at the facts here: Energy drinks have three to five times the amount of caffeine as regular sodas do. They also include a number of unregulated herbal stimulants and natural blends like taurine, guarana, creatine and B-vitamins.
And a lot of the time, they don’t even bother to list these ingredients on the label.
Does this sound like a product you want your kid guzzling down to get them through the school day? I know we’re all busy, and your child probably has a number of extracurricular activities, tests and projects going on all at once, but energy drinks are not the answer.
The sad thing is that it all boils down to common sense. These products get on the market, and they have flashy colors and cool commercials. The advertisers are specifically targeting kids.
Then, the kids get hurt and everybody wonders: What happened?
What happened was that you have companies that don’t care about children’s health, government regulators that don’t know what they’re doing, people that don’t want to be regulated, and most importantly, the power of the almighty dollar.
From a health care perspective, it has been obvious all along. These things can lead to no good.
There certainly haven’t been any studies showing the health benefits of these drinks. Actually, it’s quite the contrary; these drinks can be dangerous, according to this latest study from researchers at the University of Miami.
So let’s stop the debate. Parents; don’t let your kids drink this stuff, and companies; stop targeting our kids.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.