Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Deadly Energy: a drink with too many risks

From the desk of Kimberly Gubbins, CPNP:

A popular fad in the United States has been the production and consumption of energy drinks. Americans are drinking these highly caffeinated drinks to keep up with the “hustle and bustle” of our busy daily lives. Although these energy drinks may seem beneficial and helpful, they can pose serious health problems. The drinks have even been linked to multiple deaths and are under extreme scrutiny. The company that makes 5-hour Energy, Living Essentials, has been mentioned in over 90 legal filings and has been blamed in at least 30 life threatening events. These drinks raise heart rates, elevate blood pressure and can affect our central nervous system.

One of our highest risk groups include our teens, especially our athletic teens. What teens do not understand is that caffeine (found in Monsters and 5 hour- Energy) is a diuretic. A diuretic, if used in excess, can cause dehydration which can lead to fatal arrhythmias in our heart. In addition, caffeine can affect a teen’s ability to fall asleep. Without getting proper amounts of sleep, teens have problems with their moods, their grades and their performance.

Other groups who are at higher risk and should avoid these highly caffeinated energy drinks include those individuals with heart, liver or kidney problems, individuals with a history of panic attacks, or history of gastrointestinal problems.

At Pediatric Health we do not condone or encourage the use of any energy products or drinks. We suggest healthy eating, daily exercise and adequate sleep to feel health and energized daily.

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