Energy drinks are often confused with sports drinks, but they are actually quite different.
Energy drinks contain sugar, caffeine, plant extracts such as guarana, herbs such as ginseng, as well as aminoacids, vitamins and antioxidants –sometimes in megadose quantities. They are considered as “dietary supplements”. The FDA does not regulate the amount of caffeine and other stimulants found in energy drinks.
Children and adolescents have a particularly high risk of complications from energy drinks due to their small body size, potentially heavy and frequent use. Energy drinks may contain up to 400 mg of caffeine per serving (that’s equivalent to 11 sodas or 4 coffees). High doses of caffeine may work together with the other ingredients in energy drinks to cause adverse reactions like sleep disturbances, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, anxiety, irritability and vomiting. Children with predisposing conditions may be at an even higher risk of cardiac arrhythmias with use of energy drinks.
Energy drinks should be avoided in children. Some deaths linked with energy drinks have occurred when a person consumed energy drinks before and/or after strenuous activity.
Sports drinks contain sugar and electrolytes. They are categorized as “food” by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and strict laws apply to their labeling.
Editorial Note: What is wrong in using the good old Nimbu Paani (Lime Water) with sugar and salt ?
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