Energy drinks have rapidly become a go-to beverage for teens – according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by teens and young adults in the United States.

They may not understand, however, the harm energy drinks can have on their developing bodies. Here’s what you and your teen need to know about energy drinks and their long-term effects:

  • Almost one third of teens between the ages of 12 and 17-years old consume energy drinks regularly.
  • Large amounts of caffeine may harm children’s still-developing cardiovascular and nervous systems. A 24 oz. energy drink may contain the same amount of caffeine in four or five cups of coffee.
  • According to the American Heart Association, drinking a single 16 oz. energy drink boosts blood pressure and stress hormone responses in young, healthy adults. These changes can lead to an abnormal, irregular heartbeat or even sudden cardiac death.
  • Energy drinks may cause heart problems that develop later into adulthood, despite not being immediately present during adolescence.

Energy drinks should not be considered a healthy beverage option for children or young adults. If your teen is looking for a boost of energy, recommend a healthier option, like exercising, stretching or drinking a fruit-filled smoothie.

The Pediatric Heart Center at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach provides total care for pediatric and young adult patients with congenital or acquired heart disease. Learn more at about the Children’s Heart Institute.