It’s no surprise that teenagers today may have more pressure on them than those decades ago, but how do they keep up with the day to day routine? Millions are turning to chugging coffee, energy drinks, or chewing pieces of energy gum and parents should definitely set some boundaries as these aren’t just harmless ways to get a boost of energy to get them through a long night of homework.
Back in 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics voiced quite concern for energy drinks being such a popular choice for young ones to grab whilst on the go. The brightly-colored cans are appealing to teens, and seem to have become a staple in their social scene. As is the habit of millions of kids visiting the local coffee house and ingesting way higher amounts of caffeine than their growing bodies ever needed. Is this only providing a quick energy boost, or is this something to cause for concern for parents?
Caffeine presents a multitude of health effects upon those consuming it. Everything from increased anxiety, to insomnia, to cardiac challenges can occur as a result of how each body reacts to caffeine differently. In children under the age of 18, it can really cause a lot of damage upsetting their sleep schedules for school, and by presenting a rapid heartbeat pattern that can often lead to a trip to the family doctor’s office.
If you don’t want to take away that Saturday morning bonding time that you have with your teenager over coffee and doughnuts, then perhaps just limiting the amount of caffeine that they intake will do the trick. Talk openly with your children about the potential side effects of coffee, energy drinks, and energy gums. Provide them with ample examples of warning signs that can potentially save their lives should they also be on any medications that would conflict with a high dose of caffeine.
Moderation is everything in life, for teens and adults alike so always try to be the example when anything dietary is the topic. Kids mimic what they see more than anything, and giving them the ability to observe their parents enjoying a healthy diet can truly pay off.