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Energy drinks ‘may be no worse for kids than coffee’

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We’ve all seen them on sale, energy drinks that promise to boost performance or some other claims to improve concentration or such like. Such claims have given rise to concern that drinking too many energy drinks could actually be harmful.

A recent research project, however, has found evidence that caffeine based energy drinks pose a greater threat to children’s health and behaviour than coffee, tea or chocolate.

The Government’s Committee on Toxicity has called into question the planned banning of sales of drinks such as Red Bull to youngsters under the age of 16 and possibly also to those under the age of 18. The paper includes details of many research projects from around the world which appear to have identified harmful effects, but it questions the reliability of the conclusions of some of the research projects. It says children’s greatest exposure to caffeine is through coffee, tea and chocolate, rather than energy drinks. And it points out that there is 80mg of caffeine in a standard 250ml can of energy drink, while a standard cup of coffee from a high street chain is likely to contain more than 95mg.

The paper goes on to state that it fears heavy consumption of the drinks for those suffering from pre-existing medical conditions such as Long QT Syndrome, which is linked to fast, chaotic heartbeats.

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