The sheer amount of caffeine in these drinks is a significant cause for concern; many young people might consume multiple cans at once. One can frequently contain much more caffeine than other stimulants, artificial flavorings, and sugar.
According to a government survey conducted in 2018, a quarter of kids who consume energy drinks will consume three or more in a single sitting. Research has shown that energy drinks can negatively affect children, raising serious concerns about the short- and long-term effects on mental and physical health.
The government declared in 2019 that it would prohibit the sale of energy drinks to those under 16. Despite evidence that excessive consumption has a negative impact on health and education, the ban hasn’t been implemented.
Continue reading to know why energy drinks should be banned for children and who should consume them.
What Are Energy Drinks?
Energy drinks are marketed as having ingredients that give you more energy and focus.
Famous energy drink brands comprise Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Monster, AMP, Rockstar, NOS, and Full Throttle.
Caffeine is a common ingredient in energy drinks because it improves alertness, concentration, and brain activity.
Numerous studies have shown that energy drinks can lessen mental fatigue while also enhancing measures of brain function like memory, concentration, and reaction time.
Some drivers during long, late-night drives depend on energy drinks to provide them with the necessary focus and energy. Numerous studies using driving simulations have found that energy drinks can improve driving and lessen drowsiness, even in sleep-deprived drivers.
Possible Side Effects Of Energy Drinks
Research has shown that energy drinks can enhance cognitive function and keep you awake even when you’re tired.
But there are also concerns that energy drinks may exacerbate heart issues.
According to one study, the consumption of energy drinks has been linked to a number of heart issues that called for trips to the ER. Most medical professionals think that consuming too much caffeine contributes to the heart issues linked to using energy drinks.
Other possible side effects include:
- Excessive sweating
Ingredients In Energy Drinks That Can Be Harmful
Caffeine, found in about 200 mg of energy drinks—the equivalent of two cups of brewed coffee—can give you a boost. B vitamins, herbs like ginseng and guarana, and other substances may be added as well.
The lack of regulations regarding the safety of these drinks and the aggressive marketing strategies used to target teenagers are worrisome.
The label of an energy drink will indicate how much caffeine is present. A single-serve container may contain up to 180 mg of caffeine.
The caffeine content in multi-serving containers is limited to 180 mg per 500 mL. (2 cups). Comparatively, 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee (250 mL) contains about 135 mg of caffeine.
The product’s caffeine sources are included in the caffeine content label. Energy drinks may contain yerba mate, guarana, and black tea as natural sources of caffeine.
Caffeine overconsumption can result in a number of health issues, including:
- Restlessness and shakiness
- Fast heart rate
Sugar, which has both favorable and unfavorable effects on health, is present in the majority of foods and beverages consumed in the United States.
The label of an energy drink will indicate how much sugar is in it. Often, the amount of sugar is comparable to other sugary drinks like soft drinks. Health issues can result from consuming too many calories from sugary drinks.
For most adult women, the AHA recommends a stricter added sugar limit of no more than 24 grams, and for most men, no more than 36 grams.
Consuming excessive amounts of sugar, especially added sugar, is unhealthy. There is proof that excessive amounts of added sugar cause:
- Weight Gain
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Cardiovascular Problems
- Skin Issues
- Hormonal Issues
- Tooth Decay
Some common energy drinks with high sugar content are:
|Energy Drinks||Sugar Amount|
|Rockstar (16 fl. oz)||63mg|
|Redbull (16 fl. oz)||51mg|
|NOS (16 fl. oz)||51mg|
|Monster (16 fl. oz)||54mg|
|Guru (8.4 fl. oz)||21mg|
|Rit It (16 fl. oz)||26mg|
Energy Drinks And Their Effects On Children
Children and young adults who consume sugary energy drinks are consuming them at a rate that raises public health concerns due to the negative effects of consuming too much sugar, which include dental erosion, weight gain, and the onset of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
According to Diabetes UK, there are 7,000 people under the age of 25 who have type 2 diabetes in England and Wales, which is ten times the number previously estimated.
According to research, teenagers in the UK consume more energy drinks than those in any other nation in Europe.
Regardless of the amount of caffeine present in tea and chocolate or any other food or beverage that a 16-year-old may consume, a 500ml can of Monster Origin contains 160mg in one serving. To put this into perspective, it would be like taking two shots of espresso.
According to research, excessive caffeine consumption, especially in children and young adults, can lead to a range of immediate health issues, including headaches, irritation, stomach aches, and sleep issues.
Reasons Why Energy Drinks Are Banned In Some Countries
Energy drinks were allegedly banned due to the rise in youth consumption and the negative effects brought on by the excessive amounts of caffeine and sugar in them.
However, the ban was later overturned due to a lack of data, though some countries like France and the UK have banned energy drinks in specific cities.
The Science and Technology Committee was open about its belief that there should be restrictions of some kind placed on children’s consumption of caffeine-containing energy drinks. However, the amount of harm demonstrated is insufficient to support a statutory ban.
However, the committee made the argument that “societal harms” might allow the government to impose a ban despite the lack of supporting data. If it did, it should explain how it came to its decision, according to committee chairman Norman Lamb.
Government reluctance and industry resistance were primarily sparked by complaints that there wasn’t enough data to make a firm conclusion about how consumption affects society.
A recent study found that high consumption of alcohol is linked with smoking, irritability, and school exclusion. Nevertheless, there is a wealth of observational and anecdotal evidence from researchers, parents, and teachers.
Despite everything, the government still carried out its promise. The government formally introduced the ban within the Health Outcomes Green Paper in 2019, after finding that advice and warning labels had not been effective as a deterrent (93% of respondents were in favor).
Unsurprisingly, attention was diverted and the policy was not formally introduced. But later, it appears to have been quietly removed from the schedule entirely.
What Age Groups Are Not Allowed to Buy or Consume Energy Drinks?
Consumers are reminded that there are currently no age limitations on the sale of any foods or beverages, including energy drinks, that contain caffeine.
Although it is not required by law, the industry has agreed to refrain from advertising to consumers under the age of 16 when purchasing energy drinks.
There are also no set legal limits on how much of any caffeine-containing food or drink can be bought in a single transaction.
Retailers can decide to only sell to customers who are at least a certain age. People above the age of 18 are not prohibited from purchasing energy drinks.
Energy Drinks And Alcohol
Energy drinks are sometimes mixed with alcohol in an attempt to feel more energized. This is practiced the most by our youth, who is unaware of the dangers associated with it.
When energy drinks and alcohol are combined, a practice commonly observed among underage drinkers and linked to binge drinking, a greater risk is introduced.
According to studies, consuming this kind of cocktail results in consuming more alcohol than if alcohol were consumed alone.
This might be because energy drinks make people more alert, which hides the signs of intoxication and makes them think they can drink even more.
High-energy drink consumption has been linked in case reports to harmful cardiovascular, psychological, and neurologic events, including fatal ones, especially when combined with alcohol.
Head over to this article to know the hazards of mixing alcohol with energy drinks in detail.
Famous Energy Drinks You Can Try
BAWLS Guarana was one of the first beverages in the United States to include a natural energy boost using herbal blends when it was first introduced in 1996 in their recognizable cobalt blue glass bottles.
In comparison to the can version of Bawls, which has 102mg of caffeine and 32g of sugar, the bottled version of Bawls has only 59 mg of caffeine.
OCA Energy is a trustworthy vegan energy drink free of harmful chemicals.
It is run on a tapioca-based cassava root extract that has roughly 120 mg of caffeine. All of the ingredients in this beverage are organic. It contains some sugar and roughly 60 calories.
Three flavors are also available.
REIZE Energy contains 50mg of caffeine and 11 calories per serving and is sugar-free.
I require this energy supplement every morning. I don’t require any additional caffeine to get the much-needed boost.
Together, caffeine, taurine, ginseng, and B vitamins produce a powerful energy boost without any crashes or jitters.
As too much of anything is unhealthy, it’s also possibly one of the best options for people who want to reduce their caffeine intake.
Most significantly, REIZE proposes direct delivery to your door for less than $1 per drink, including shipping. That offers outstanding value. So, give REIZE a try!
- A drink that frequently includes high levels of caffeine, extra sugar, other additives, and acceptable ingredients like guarana, taurine, and l-carnitine. These stimulants are lawful and can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate alongside boosting alertness, attention, and energy.
- Students frequently consume energy drinks to boost their energy levels. However, given that students typically consume 2-4 cans per day, the stimulants in these drinks can be harmful to the nervous system.
- Energy drinks were alleged to be banned between 2018 and 2019 due to their excessive consumption, the negative effects of caffeine and sugar, as well as their mixing with alcohol, but the implementation didn’t happen due to a lack of data.
- So, consume energy drinks moderately and consider your caffeine tolerance.
- I wouldn’t be surprised if energy drinks were outlawed in the future given how quickly they are being marketed and consumed, as well as their detrimental effects on kids in particular.