Energy Drink and Coffee Beverage Awareness

Adopted January 2009 – Reviewed and deemed relevant May 2016 – Health Commission

California State PTA encourages parents to learn more about the short and long term effects of caffeine on the health and well-being of children and youth. Caffeine drinks are everywhere, promising to keep a person energized, revved, and alert. But labels don’t have to reveal how much caffeine the products pack. Safe limits of caffeine consumption are still being studied.

Energy drinks are usually a mixture of caffeine, guarana, taurine, carbohydrates, B-Complex and gluconolactone. These as well as coffee beverages have become very popular with children and youth in recent years. Caffeine itself is not a harmful substance, however, taken in large amounts it can be considered dangerous.

Research is finding that caffeine-laden drinks could be stopping children’s brains from developing properly. By preventing deep sleep, caffeine interferes with the development of the brain during adolescence. This is a critical time for the brain, when problems in development can lead to schizophrenia, anxiety, drug use, and personality disorders.

Health concerns may include:

  • Dental erosion
  • High blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal disorder
  • Shakes, tremors and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Disruption in the classroom
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heart beat

Energy drink labels often state that they are not recommended for children, but sales of the drinks are not restricted by age as are products that contain tobacco and alcohol. California State PTA believes it is important for parents to monitor and understand the effects of energy drinks and coffee beverages on children and youth.

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