An article in Pediatrics in Review, a journal published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, outlines the recent evidence surrounding the content, benefits and risks of energy drinks consumed by adolescents. The article, “Energy Drinks: What Teenagers (and Their Doctors) Should Know,” is published in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal. Top-selling energy drinks contain high, unregulated amounts of caffeine, as well as other stimulants that can enhance the effects of caffeine. Caffeine can produce harmful health effects in adolescents, including cardiovascular problems, anxiety, insomnia, digestive problems, dehydration, and others. Energy drinks mixed with alcohol present serious potential for harm and abuse. Medical providers are advised to ask teenage patients whether they consume energy drinks, to discuss the dangers of energy drinks alone and mixed with alcohol, and to be aware of the symptoms of energy drink consumption.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. (www.aap.org)