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Doctors Warn Kids Against Consuming Energy Drinks

American doctors are advising children and teens to refrain from consuming energy drinks. Even sports drinks should be consumed only in limited quantities, they say.

Doctors say energy drinks contain unhealthy stimulants like caffeine, which are not required. They say kids are especially vulnerable to energy drinks compared to adults. Regular consumption of energy drinks can stress the bodies of growing kids. These recommendations were revealed in Pediatrics journal.

Doctors reveal energy drinks host ingredients like herbal extracts and vitamins which could have side effects. Stimulants could disturb heart rhythm and in rare cases, may even cause seizures.

Previously, pediatricians in Florida had researched cases of liver or kidney damage, heart problems, delusions and seizures in individuals who had consumed more than one energy drink, including brands such as Redline, Spike Shooter or Red Bull. The doctors opine that energy drinks could be especially dangerous to kids with previous medical conditions.

In the US, energy drinks are expected to notch up sales of about $9 billion in 2011. Kids and teens make up 50% of this market. Manufacturers of energy drinks say they are harmless and each can contains only as much caffeine as in a cup of coffee.

For kids into sports, water is the best option, say doctors. At best, sports drinks can also be consumed in limited quantities. Sedentary kids should avoid both energy and sports drinks as they will only add extra flab.

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