I remember when I coached little league we had a rule: No Pop Allowed At Games Or Practice.  Kids had to bring water, period.  That was years ago, before the energy drink craze, but if I still coached that rule would include those today for the kids.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says sports drinks should be consumed sparingly by kids and teens and the energy drinks should NOT be consumed at all!

The academy warned in the June issue of Pediatrics that downing Gatorade, Powerade and other sports drinks can increase the risk of weight problems in the average child.

It also warned that the effect of large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants have not been tested on kids and there are potential risks. It warns there can be a lethal dose of caffeine.

From MedPage Today:

“Energy drinks often contain the same carbohydrates, minerals, and electrolytes as sports drinks, but also have stimulants like caffeine, guarana, taurine, ginseng, L-carnitine, and creatine.”

“Guarana boosts total caffeine content as one gram equals about 40 mg of caffeine; taurine potentiates caffeine and may cause coronary vasospasm…”

” ‘The total amount of caffeine contained in some cans or bottles of energy drinks can exceed 500 mg (equivalent to 14 cans of common caffeinated soft drinks) and is clearly high enough to result in caffeine toxicity,’ it warned. ‘A lethal dose of caffeine is considered to be 200 to 400 mg/kg.’ “

“Other concerns center on caffeine’s effects on developing neurologic and cardiovascular systems; the risk of physical dependence and addiction; and the acidic pH in the drinks that could contribute to dental erosion.”

The article did says sports drinks were OK for teens who were participating in high endurance and high intensity sports. The article stresses kids should be drinking water.