Pe­di­a­tri­cians say kids, teens should avoid sports and en­ergy drinks

The Pilot - - News -

TORONTO, ONT. — Kids and teens should not drink sports or en­ergy drinks, the Cana­dian Pae­di­atric So­ci­ety says in a new po­si­tion re­leased re­cently that takes a stand against the sug­ary bev­er­ages.

Dr. Cather­ine Pound, coau­thor of the state­ment and a pe­di­a­tri­cian at the Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal of Eastern On­tario, says caf­feinated en­ergy drinks in par­tic­u­lar can pose se­ri­ous health risks and are un­nec­es­sary for most young peo­ple.

“I wouldn’t rec­om­mend them for any­body that fits our tar­get pop­u­la­tion, which is any­one be­tween the ages of zero and 18,” said Pound, not­ing that one can of en­ergy drink con­tains more caf­feine than the reg­u­lar type of brewed cof­fee.

Too much can be deadly, as ap­par­ently was the case of a South Carolina teen who col­lapsed April 26 after down­ing an en­ergy drink, a large pop and a cafe latte within a two-hour span.

Davis Cripe had no pre­ex­ist­ing heart con­di­tion but likely died from a caf­feine-in­duced heart ar­rhyth­mia, said the lo­cal coro­ner.

The Cana­dian Pae­di­atric Soci- ety had no of­fi­cial po­si­tion on the use of en­ergy and sports drinks at the time, how­ever had sug­gested young non-ath­letes avoid them.

It now ex­plic­itly makes the case against both caf­feinated en­ergy drinks and non- caf­feinated sports drinks among youth, sug­gest­ing there are very few who would need such stim­u­lants.

“A lot of peo­ple be­lieve they’re es­sen­tial as part of re­hy­dra­tion for sports. But what we’re find­ing is ac­tu­ally they’re not — wa­ter is ideal for re­hy­dra­tion in sport,” said Pound, adding that doc­tors should rou­tinely screen for their use.

“Only in the very spe­cific sub­set of the pop­u­la­tion will they be use­ful and that’s the pop­u­la­tion of chil­dren that will per­form very vig­or­ous ac­tiv­ity for over an hour or in very hot and hu­mid weather.”

The other dan­ger is mix­ing en­ergy drinks with al­co­hol, said Pound, adding that those who do so tend to par­tic­i­pate in high-risk be­hav­iour such as il­licit drug use.


Empty bev­er­age cups lie on the pave­ment dur­ing Tely 10 road race in St. John’s. Pe­da­tri­cians say kids and teens should avoid en­ergy drinks.

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