Who doesn't need a shot of caffeine once and a while?
You'd be lying if you said you've never grabbed a quick pick me up in the form of coffee, tea or anything else that is filled with caffeine.
One of the favorites among the sleep deprived are energy drinks, a million dollar industry that is equal parts successful and controversial. The debate rest squarely with the ingredients and chemistry within that can, regardless of the brand in question.
The average adult absolutely covets the caffeine and extra bump in energy they receive from the drinks of the same name, but beyond the initial effects of the beverage, you have to seriously question the risks involved with drinking them.
Rapid heart rate, high blood pressure and lack of sleep have all been attributed to energy drinks in some form or fashion, and if those staggering side effects aren't enough to make you put down that energy drink, think about the latest demographic that is addicted to consuming these drinks in mass.
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Kids and teenagers.
Budge Collinson is a food science expert, founder of Infusion Sciences, and he points to the term "energy" being misused as part of the marketing of these drinks. At the center of this decision making are parents, who are the ones buying the beverage of choice with the assumption that energy is, in this instance, is a good thing.
"Soccer moms and dads buy these 'stimulant' drinks for their kids because both kids and parents want that competitive advantage," Collinson said. Collinson created Youth Infusion, a natural, vitamin infused drink that delivers high energy levels without the crash and side effects that are dangerous to both adults but particularly kids.
Reports surfacing of teenagers having chest pains or shortness of breath is cause for more than just a modicum of concern regarding energy drinks and the negativity surrounding them in terms of kids. Sugary "energy" drinks like Gatorade, for example, aren't the best choice and should be replaced with plenty of water first and foremost.
Energy drinks such as the ones from Red Bull and Monster cause even more of a stir. Energy drinks cleverly suggest to potential consumers that the energy is natural and list ingredients that make it think they're not harmful.
Like any product, you should implement the mentality that moderation is key, but that doesn't excuse the manufacturers of energy drinks from filling these cans with ingredients that can be harmful when mixed together.
To keep kids at bay when it comes to these types of energy drinks, parents must make it a point to educate their kids but also set the example by not drinking them as well. Aside from making water the beverage of choice for kids, moms and dads should rely on activities and sports to keep kids engaged, enthralled and filled with energy.
And forgo the drinks that promise energy but essentially fall flat when it comes to truly delivering.
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