NDSU Extension - Morton County


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February 3, 2020 Sports Drinks, Not Energy Drinks

Karla Meikle 4-H Youth Development


Sports Drinks, Not Energy Drinks

Recently, my niece pulled an energy drink from the refrigerator and I was completely caught off guard.  She has always been so conscientious of what she is eating and drinking especially during the school cross country and track season.  She doesn’t drink soda so I was surprised when the energy drink was pulled from the refrigerator and slipped into her backpack.  This inquiring aunt wanted to ask more questions so I asked her what that was she thought she had to be sneaky about.  She giggled, I have them all the time with my friends.  OK, well this Aunt is going to share with you some facts which she didn’t care to hear.  So as she left for school with her brother, I texted her a publication from NDSU Extension on the energy drinks.  We didn’t discuss it any further and I haven’t seen her with one since.  Here are some facts I shared with her and I hope she considered before thinking of another energy drink.

Energy Drinks

Adolescents are consuming more energy drinks all the time. These energy drinks are mostly consumed before or during physical activity. The increased consumption and use during physical activity is due to clever advertisements that are targeted towards adolescents.

Caffeine in Energy Drinks

Caffeine isn’t always harmful, but excess quantities can cause problems since it can lead to dehydration. Guarana is an ingredient found in energy drinks, and it increases the dehydrating impact of caffeine. This becomes a problem in physical activity because if an athlete is not hydrated then their performance will decrease. Depending on the brand and size of the product cans range anywhere from 50 mg to 500 mg. of caffeine

  • 50 mg is equivalent to 10 cans of soda
  • 50 mg is equivalent to five cups of coffee

Nutrition Facts

Energy drinks are sold in much larger container than an average soda can. One fact that is commonly overlooked is the serving size. One container of most popular energy drinks is considered two servings, so everything on the nutrition label doubles.

 Negative effects of energy drinks

  • Dehydration during physical activity
  • Insomnia and poor sleep
  • Risk of unnecessary calories
  • Dental erosion
  • Nervousness
  • Jitteriness
  • Stomach aches
  • Nausea
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