Energy Drinks, Even Without Alcohol, May Pose Risks For Youngsters

In a conclusion that sounds downright Rumsfeldian, researchers at the University of Miami write in the medical journal Pediatrics that “the known and unknown pharmacology” of ingredients in energy drinks are a cause for concern about potential side effects.

Anywhere from about a third to half of teens and young adults drink the beverages, boosted with such things as caffeine, guarana, taurine and L-carnitine, the paper says. And, citing previous work, the researchers say a single can or bottle of the stuff may be enough to put a youngster, already consuming some caffeine over the daily limit for side effects.

Teens and younger kids shouldn’t consume more than about 100 milligrams of caffeine in a day. That’s about two cans of Mountain Dew or 1 1/2 cans of Red Bull.

Kids with certain heart conditions or ADHD may be particularly sensitive to the drinks effects.

more on