After a long night of no sleep and facing a big to-do list, it's all too easy for teens and children to reach for that can or bottle filled with a quick burst of energy.
Sanford Health Dr. Michael Bergeron says, "There's no real good reason a child or adolescent should be consuming caffeine," .
However, many do. They get it in the form of sports and energy drinks. But an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging against that. Bergeron contributed to that article and says the drinks just aren't needed.
"A lot of kids are using the caffeine energy drinks to stay awake, more alert in school, probably very few to enhance athletic performance," Bergeron said.
He says there is a difference between sports and energy drinks. Sports drinks can have a benefit for athletes because they contain carbohydrates and electrolytes to help provide needed energy, but for those not heavily active, they could just mean more calories.
"They have carbohydrates, which mean they have calories. So, do they need to be consuming extra calories in the day, unknowingly? Probably not," Bergeron said.
That's the same case for energy drinks. However, Bergeron says teens and children should not consume these at all if they're using it to stay awake and alert because caffeine can have negative effects.
"If they're using the energy drink for these purposes, there's clearly a problem. They're not getting enough sleep, not eating well otherwise. I would endorse the recommendation to steer clear of these because there's probably another issue going on where they're trying to do too much on too little sleep," Bergeron said.
The article focuses on children, but Bergeron says it's also a good idea for adults to limit the amount of caffeine and other stimulants throughout the day. And when it comes to hydration, water is still the best choice.
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