The Buzz on Energy Drinks

(Repost from the latest Real Spotlight)

Energy drink companies market their products to adolescents and young adults who are looking for a quick energy boost.

The drinks contain caffeine, herbs and other ingredients that are marketed to also improve concentration, performance and metabolism.

Possible side effects include headaches, anxiety, sleep problems, nausea, seizures, cardiac abnormalities and sudden death. There are also possible drug-herbal interactions with these products that can alter the affects of medications.

In reality, energy levels are affected by nutrition, activity level, and sleep.

The best advice to improve energy levels is to focus on healthy food habits, including physical activity most days of the week and adequate sleep. When people don’t follow this advice, they try to use energy drinks as a band-aid for a quick fix energy boost.

Caffeine is safe to use in moderation. This single ingredient stimulant is safe up to 400 mg per day in most healthy adults. That’s equivalent to 4 cups of coffee each day. Kids less than age 12 really shouldn’t have caffeine. Teens can have up to 100 mg. Energy drinks can have between 70-240 mg of caffeine.  It’s a wise choice to do your research on these drinks if you or your family members consume them.

Adults and kids have varying levels of sensitivity to caffeine, which can linger in the body for four to six hours. Be aware of the symptoms (restlessness, insomnia) of too much caffeine. Be a good role model and talk to your kids about caffeine as you would smoking or drinking. Practice moderation.

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