One thing I have noticed lately which quite frankly is not only personally upsetting, is the increased consumption of 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. Here are 4 reasons why….
1. Carbonation – 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.
2. 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 via the stimulation of the central nervous system and the production of adrenaline like hormones. If you have kids or have even seen them on the bus after school, they are already very wired and hyperactive in nature. Synthetically stimulating a child’s central nervous system can promote dependence and can often cause them to feel anxious and jittery. Caffeine will also disrupt their sleeping pattern more than it will affect an adult. 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.
3. Glucose – is carbohydrates in its most elementary form. 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 can encourage weight gain and potentially insulin resistance which is why kids today are being diagnosed with diabetes which is usually considered an adult disease.
4. Acids – Carbonic acid and phosphoric acid are two common acids found in all fizzy drinks. Not only are they great for cleaning toilets and polishing up dirty old pennies but they’re 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 drinks are terrible for our teeth, 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 4 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…
…until next time, stay fit, eat clean, and be healthy!Ki