Kristi Lopez

By

College: Medicine

Energy Drinks Can Be Potentially Harmful for Children

Published: Mar 12, 2013
 
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 12, 2013) - The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, March 10, 2013.
 
By Dr. Donna Grigsby
 

You find them advertised in commercials on TV and prominently stocked on shelves in every grocery and convenience store, but while widely promoted, energy drinks should be consumed with caution and should never be used by children or adolescents who may be more vulnerable to their ingredients than adults.   

 

Found in brightly colored cans and marketed under names like Red Bull, Rock-star and Monster, energy drinks have large amounts of caffeine or other stimulants such as guarana or taurine.   

 

These products, especially those with high levels of caffeine, stimulate receptors in the body that control blood pressure, heart rate and your state of alertness. But they can also cause side effects such as restlessness, irritability and difficulty sleeping. Large doses of caffeine can also cause reduced blood flow to the heart and abnormal heart rhythms as well as shortness of breath and can worsen existing health conditions like diabetes, seizures and behavioral disorders.   

 

Energy drinks are marketed to give you an energy boost but, especially in children and teens’ growing and developing bodies, they have no nutritional value. For teens and children the drinks are unnecessary and possibly harmful.   

 

A healthy diet is the best way to get all of the energy needed without a boost of caffeine or other substances. In addition, water and low-fat milk should be the drinks of choice for children. Soft drinks should be limited or avoided.   

 

It ’s important for parents to read the labels of any beverage that a young person is consuming. This is especially true if it is an energy drink, a sports drink or flavored water, which sometimes have extra ingredients such as stimulants. When reading the label, parents should look for the presence of caffeine and be aware of the names of other types of stimulants such as guarana or taurine.   

 

To give a comparison, a regular cup of coffee has about 100 milligrams of caffeine and a can of cola has about 35-55 milligrams. However, energy drinks generally have a much higher content of caffeine and stimulants with a single serving often containing anywhere from 50 to 500 milligrams of caffeine. And the addition of guarana -- a plant extract that contains even much higher levels of caffeine (1 mg of guarana is equivalent to 40 mg of caffeine) — increases the caffeine dose even more, sometimes to dangerous levels.   

 

And while soft drinks and the amount of caffeine in them are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, there is no regulation or limits for energy drinks.   

 

Dr. Donna Grigsby is a pediatrician at Kentucky Children’s Hospital and chief of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics in the UK College of Medicine.

 
grigsby-donna-glandon.jpg
November
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
College of Pharmacy Open House
Iron Pour
UK Women's Choir 20th Anniversary Concert
Adventure Hiking & Rappelling @ Red River Gorge
Pickin' Time Mountain Music and Harvest Day
Purposeful Retirement: Planning Your Next Stage of Life
Diwali Dhoom 2014
Sat
2
UK Percussion Ensemble
Day Hike
Curator Tour: Take My Word For It
Sun
3
Industry Career Week: Resumes and Cover Letters
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Morehead State
Mon
4
Industry Career Week: How to Impress Your Boss in 90 Days
Rock Star Professionalism Series
UK Lab Band
Tue
5
Industry Career Week: Networking and Job Search
Social Enterprise and Innovation / Certified Nonprofit Professional Program Informational Meeting
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Appalachian Forum with Dr. Fran Ansley
Dana Harper Gallery Reception
Wed
6
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Zona Sur
LNFS Presents: The Grand Budapest Hotel
UK Jazz Ensemble
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Abstract Workshop
Lauren Potter
Thu
7
LNFS Presents: V for Vendetta
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Circle of Love Name Distribution
R.C. May Photography Lecture Series: Marvin Heiferman
Men's Soccer vs. Charlotte
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Georgia
Free Friday Evening Swing Dance
Fri
8
Kentucky Football vs. Georgia
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
The Power of Poetry
The Lexington Lowdown and Free Lindy Hop Workshop
Swing Dance Featuring Live music by"The Metrognomes Orchestra"
Sat
9
UK Combos Concert
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Missouri
Sun
10
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Mon
11
UK Sax Ensembles
Job Club - Interviewing Strategies
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Jose Abisambra Presentation on Current Alzheimer's Research
Women of the World: Judy Smith
Tue
12
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Reservoir Dogs
Refugee Life in America
#UKEDTALKS: International Opportunities for Education Majors
Leadership Assessment
Wed
13
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Iron Man 3
Chili and Pie Cook-Off Supper
#TrendingTopics: Vegetarians vs. Meat-Eaters
Campus Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics KY
LNFS Presents: La Demora
Thu
14
LNFS Presents: Pretty in Pink
LNFS Presents: Mean Girls
Fri
15
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
16
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Florida
Greek Cinematography: Critical Approach and Discussion
"Storied Streets" Documentary Showing about Experiences of Homelessness
Sun
17
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
UK Rep Bands Concert
College of Agriculture, Food & Environment 2014 Celebration of Land-Grant Research
Amanda Rogers, "Black Flags, ISIS 'Swag' & Jihadi Rap: Marketing Militancy after the Arab Spring"
Stories of Homelessness: Panel Discussion
Mon
18
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
A Positive Approach to Caregiving Conference
Education Abroad Open House
CatWatch Party
Appalachian Forum and Film Screening of "Up the Ridge"
Tue
19
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
LNFS Presents: The Princess and the Frog
Pinterest Party
International Games Day
Global Design with Phil Duncan
Caregiver Support Group
OXFAM Social Issues Banquet
Wed
20
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You
LNFS Presents: The Big Lebowski
International Education Week Keynote Speaker: Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education at USAID
Tobacco-free Tailgate 5 Year Anniversary
Bollywood Night
Thu
21
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: Water For Elephants
4th Annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging & Dementia
Freedom from Fear: On Black Childhood and Other Dangers
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
MEAT.
Fri
22
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
23
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
UK Symphony Band and UK Concert Band
Sun
24
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Mon
25
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Job Club - What is your money habitude?
Multicultural Student Thanksgiving Dinner
Tue
26
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Wed
27
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Thu
28
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Fri
29
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Arkansas
Sat
30
 
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 

Repeats every week until Sat Nov 29 2014 except Sat Sep 20 2014, Sat Oct 18 2014.
Sat, 11/29/2014

Sat, 11/29/2014

Mon, 12/01/2014

Tue, 12/02/2014

Reset Page