The Mommy Files: Should You Avoid Energy Drinks?
I’ve only ever indulged in a Red Bull a few times … once when I was driving from Michigan to Maine and a few times when I needed to pull all-nighters to get work done.
And I always go with the sugar-free variety.
But I have to be honest, I’ve never even considered trying any of the other energy drinks on the market. Given all the reports of health issues, studies linking energy drinks with an increase in ER visits, and a recent investigation by the FDA that names 5-Hour Energy as the drink responsible for 13 different deaths, I was pretty much all set.
On the flip side, my husband drinks those Monster drinks like crazy … but he also consumes far more coffee than I do. I worry about his health, but the reality is, he’s a grown-up right? And he constantly tells me I should worry more about keeping our teenager from drinking them.
And he’s right.
On average, an adult can handle between 300 and 500 milligrams of caffeine a day … that’s the equivalent to two or three cups of coffee, depending on how strong your cup of joe is. And, if we drink more than that, we’re looking at getting the jitters, and possibly suffering an upset stomach.
However, with kids, it’s a whole different story. For one, there’s not enough studies to show the long-term effects of caffeine on growing kids and their brains. Plus, all that caffeine can disrupt sleep patters which, as they get older, get wonky as it is.
So, while adults can probably handle an energy drink every day (as long as you haven’t already had two or three cups of coffee), kids should avoid them. This chart at WebMD gives you the caffeine count for a variety of drinks on the market.
What’s your take on energy drinks? Do you ever use them?