Energy drinks, kids and exercise

One thing I have noticed lately is the increased consumption in carbonated energy drinks around training and particularly bought by parents for their kids. These drinks, despite their marketing, are a terrible way of boosting energy especially around training and even more so for youngsters.

I just want to outline a few health problems that are not discussed in this article that fizzy drinks cause or are associated with;

  • dehydration through a reduced fluid intake
  • effects on kidneys due to excess phosphorus
  • reductions in bone density due excess phosphorus
  • reductions in iron absorption lead to risk of anaemia in high risk populations
  • frequent consumption may lead to insulin resistance increasing type II diabetes risk
  •  weight gain and obesity
  • erosion of tooth enamel due to low acidic pH
  • learning and behaviour disruptions due to effects of caffeine

    some of which can be found here…

….but before I give you my take on why you should reconsider poisoning your children here are some interesting statements to warm you up with reference to a study linking behavioural problems with soda consumption…

Dr. Gary Null
“Natural Living” radio show
Gary Null’s Power Aging

“A study on the relationship between caffeine and fertility found that
just one caffeinated soft drink per day was associated with a reduced
monthly chance of conception of 50 percent.”

Dr. Earl Mindell Earl Mindell’s New Vitamin Bible

“Children who drink large quantities of diet sodas containing aspartame are particularly vulnerable to its dangerous side effects. Aspartame contains methyl or wood alcohol, which can affect fetal brain development.”

Consumption of these drinks have now been linked to aggressiveness and behavioural problems in children. Out of a study involving 3000 5 year old children, scientists found a distinct link between each serving of soda they gave them and an increase in aggressive and destructive behaviour…

Aggression, withdrawal, and attention problems were associated with soda consumption. Even after adjusting for sociodemographic factors, maternal depression, intimate partner violence, and paternal incarceration, any soft drink consumption was associated with increased aggressive behavior. Children who drank 4 or more soft drinks per day were more than twice as likely to destroy things belonging to others, get into fights, and physically attack people. They also had increased attention problems and withdrawal behavior compared with those who did not consume soft drinks” but hey if that sounds like the kind of attitude and behaviour you aspire your kids to have then by all means, stay firmly planted in your belief every thing is fine…link

Worried? you should be…

Maybe these 5 reasons why you shouldn’t feed your kids fizzy drinks might sway your concerns from am I bothered to oh my god…

1. Drinking fizzy drinks results in loss of essential minerals – Essential minerals are absolutely crucial to your health and even more so to your child’s ever burdening mental and physical development. But what if you were feeding your child something that stopped or impaired their natural optimal development, how would you feel as a parent?

Minerals are organic compounds that the body can not produce therefore must obtain it from the diet. A statement from says…

“Just like vitamin, minerals help your body grow, develop, and stay healthy. The body uses minerals to perform many different functions — from building strong bones to transmitting nerves impulses. Some minerals are even used to make hormones or maintain a normal heart beat”. Obviously they’re very important then…

But fizzy drinks contain excessive amounts of phosphorus, a trace mineral, which binds to calcium impairing its absorption. This huge amount of phosphorus containing soda with no calcium causes calcium to be drawn out from the bones.Take calcium out of the bones with fizzy drink consumption and you have a child much more likely to develop osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Iron is another essential mineral affected by fizzy drink consumption, iron is responsible for the production of hemoglobin which are cells that carry oxygen around your body and to your brain. With out iron or at least with a low intake, it results in low oxygen levels, fatigue and tiredness due to the onset of anaemia. Anaemic children are likely to experience cognitive and growth impairment.


Now as a parent you’d be very silly to deny and ignore these potential health problems for your growing child. When you look at what fizzy drinks are made of its pretty easy to see why this fizzy syrup would wreak havoc on your health. It is after all a concoction of acidic junk. Not only can this mineral loss lead to a chronic deficiency resulting in deficiency diseases but your child is a risk of not having the components to be able to develop a strong, healthy, body and brain.

2. Carbonation – Carbonation of fluid is not a natural feature that exists in nature and this is reflected by the problems it can cause. These types of drinks which often have different types of acid in them irritate the stomach and cause gastrointestinal stress but carbon dioxide or CO2 is what the sticky ‘fluid’,if you want to call it that, has been pumped with. Drinking this can of liquid and gas can cause a lot of internal disruptions in the gut. This is made worse when the blood from the stomach moves towards working muscles when exercise has begun. Stomach cramps, bloating and even stomach ulcers are likely side effects. Children are particularly susceptible to these side effects due to their sensitive and undeveloped bodies.

3. Caffeine – Remember most of these drinks contain caffeine and don’t forget that caffeine is still a drug. Caffeine gives the user an energetic feeling, however it is false energy, perceived by the central nervous system being excited which encourages the production of adrenaline like hormones. Children are already wired, hyperactive in nature and have bounds of energy so stimulating a child’s central nervous system through synthetic means is unnecessary and can often cause them to feel anxious and jittery. Caffeine will also disrupt their sleeping pattern more than it will affect an adults. The British Soft Drinks Association recommends these drinks are ‘Not suitable for children’ and they state such drinks may not be promoted or marketed to persons aged under 16. Those recommendations are definitely there for a good reason.

“Soft drinks are the single greatest source of caffeine in children’s
diets; a 12-ounce can of cola contains about 45 milligrams but the amounts in more potent soft drinks can exceed 100 milligrams< a level approaching that found in coffee.”

4. Glucose – is carbohydrates in its most elementary form, sugar. Sugar only provides short term energy, intense and even short training sessions will out last the duration of energy given by sugar. Glucose causes a rise in blood sugar then a quick crash due to a storage hormone called insulin that will take excess sugar out of the blood, but too quickly, bringing your sugar levels to subnormal levels. This will cause a fatigued and weak feeling that is often associated with shakiness and hot/cold flushes, the technical term for this is hypoglycemia. Slow digesting carbohydrates will give a slow release in sugar and will not accompany such negative effects on energy levels. On top of that sugar will encourage fat gain and insulin resistance, this is why kids are being diagnosed with type II diabetes today which is usually considered an adult disease. In fact recent research has shown drinking one can of soda a day can increase your risk of type II diabetes by over a fifth.


5. Acids – Carbonic acid and phosphoric acid are two common acids found in all fizzy drinks. Coca cola has a pH of 2.8, which makes it a very stoing acid given that your stomach acid is only only around pH 3. Not only is this kind of acidity great for cleaning toilets, breaking down limescale and polishing up dirty old pennies but its also great for stripping your tooth enamel away too. We’ve all heard about the tooth in a glass of coke experiment, literally dissolving it in a matter of days, while a tooth in a cup of milk preserves the tooth. Well this should be seen as an obvious warning to parents and the public that these corrosive drinks are terrible for our teeth and for our digestive system, let alone the immature teeth of children’s! Everyone hates the dentist so don’t give your dentist the satisfaction of seeing you squirm by encouraging another early trip!


So there are 5 reasons why energy drink consumption should be approached with caution and completely avoided for kids. I could give you more but I want you to reflect on these important points to make an informed and educated decision to think about the aspects and effects these drinks have on you and your family before you buy the next one…

Failure to take you child’s health and welfare into consideration after knowing just how detrimental it is to your child’s health is plain ignorant, selfish and only reflects BAD PARENTING.

now I’ll leave you with some statements from some experts in the field…


William Duffy
The doctor speaking in these dialogs is, Dr. McCay, the nutritionist at the
Naval Medical Research Institute. –

At the Naval Medical Research Institute, we put human teeth in a cola beverage and found they softened and started to dissolve within a short period the acidity of cola beverages is about the same as vinegar. The sugar content masks the acidity, and children little realize they are drinking this strange mixture of phosphoric acid, sugar, caffeine, coloring, and flavoring matter.”


James Duke PhD
The Green Pharmacy : The Ultimate Compendium Of Natural Remedies From The World’s Foremost Authority On Healing Herbs –

“And watch out for cola soft drinks, which are very high in bone dissolving phosphorus.”


Marion Nestle
Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition (see related ebook on nutrition) and Health (California Studies in Food and Culture)

“The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times.”

“Adolescents who consume soft drinks display a risk of bone fractures three to four-fold higher than those who do not.”

“Sugar and acid in soft drinks so easily dissolve tooth enamel.”


James A Howenstine M.D.
A Physician’s Guide to Natural Health Products That Work –

“In an interesting experiment the sugar from one soft drink was able to damage the white blood cells’ ability to ingest and kill gonococcal bacteria (harmful bacteria that poses a risk to your child) for seven hours.”


Michael Murray ND and Joseph Pizzorno ND
Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition –

“It appears that increased soft drink consumption is a major factor that contributes to osteoporosis. A deficiency of vitamin K leads to impaired mineralisation of bone. Boron deficiency may contribute greatly to osteoporosis as well as to menopausal symptoms….soft drink consumption leads to lower calcium levels in children. This situation that ultimately leads to poor bone mineralisation, which explains the greater risk of broken bones in children who consume soft drinks.”

…until next time, stay fit, eat clean, and be healthy!


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