Energy Drinks Should Not Be Given to Kids In Place of a Healthy Meal Claims Chemist Direct

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Chemist Direct applauds Morrison’s decision, as the first supermarket, to ban the sales of energy drinks to children, and reviews the effects such drinks have on youngsters in the UK.

Energy Drinks

Energy Drinks Not Suitable For Adolescents to Aid Concentration

Offering a healthy lunch option at school may also improve behaviour and overall concentration performance.

Recently a study was carried out by the American Academy of Paediatrics from the Committee on Nutrition (CON) and Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness (COSMF) on the specific ingredients and effects of sports and energy drinks on children and adolescents. 1

What sparked this research study were the marketing techniques of this growing industry that portrayed sports drinks as a valid fluid replacement, full of electrolytes, for children, and energy drinks to boost concentration and energy when fatigue set in. This type of presentation can not only confuse the two completely different products, but it also gives a vague concept of what the actual ingredients is, and leaves the knowledge of those ingredients having adverse long term effects unknown.

The first phase of the study was focused on the ingredients used in these drinks and the promoted benefits versus the actual results. Here is the list of results:

Sports drinks are given during or after exercise to boost energy, balance electrolytes, and increase sports performance. But water still remains the best choice for re-hydrating and offers the best results for avoiding heat illness.

Most of the carbohydrate content in sports drinks is sugar, unless it’s marked as sugar-free, containing 2–19g of glucose and fructose carbohydrate per every 240ml serving. Although a large part of children’s’ energy source comes from carbohydrates, the quota is usually reached through regular meals and fruit juices or milk, making energy drinks not only unnecessary but an actual forerunner for obesity.

In the UK it is estimated that a third of youngsters, aged 12-18, reported either skipping breakfast entirely or supplementing a proper meal with energy drinks or snack foods.

A poll of over 2,000 adolescents and teenagers from the Make Mine Milk campaign suggests 4 out of 10 believe this is a good dieting option. The availability of these drinks in the supermarket increases the likelihood of more youngsters using energy drinks for a meal replacement. 2

Chemist Direct’s Pharmaceutical Superintendent, Omar El-Gohary, applauds Morrison’s current initiative to trial banning the sales of high-caffeine energy drinks and hopes other supermarkets will also follow their lead in the coming year. 3 He says:

"Children need to be served a healthy breakfast each morning and not resort to energy drinks high in sugar, acids and caffeine. Teaching nutritional value, how to eat healthily and even how to cook for themselves, may go a long way to increasing youngsters awareness on healthy living. Offering them a healthy lunch option at school may also improve their behaviour and overall concentration performance.”



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Samantha Smith
Chemist Direct
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