A recent report by the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) says that children should stick to drinking water during break or after exercise rather than various energy and sports drinks. The researchers say that energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine and other harmful substances. The report also outlines how these products are being misused.
Unaware of the contents and difference between sports drinks and energy drinks adolescents often end up consuming these without any need for them.
Sports drinks, which contain carbohydrates, minerals, electrolytes and flavours, are technically designed to give a carbohydrate and electrolyte boost to athletes after a grueling practice or a marathon workout session. However, most teenagers don’t indulge in such physically draining activities regularly and they should avoid sports drinks, say the researchers.
Sports drinks contain extra calories that most children don't need, and could contribute to obesity and tooth decay. If the body isn't depleted of carbs from intense physical activity, there really isn't any need to replenish them with sports drinks, assert the researchers who prepared the report. As far as for kids who are into routine physical activity, plain water is best.
Energy drinks are made to perk one up, so they often contain stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana and taurine, in various forms. Caffeine - by far the most popular stimulant - has been linked to a number of harmful health effects in children, including effects on the developing neurological and cardiovascular systems. According to doctors, caffeine raises heart rate, blood pressure, speech rates and motor activity, and affects how much acid our stomach secretes, our body temperature and how much we sleep or don't sleep.
Children with anxiety who drink too much caffeine become more anxious, and many youngsters are already taking drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, most of which are stimulants. These kids have no need for energy drinks.