Monday, October 30, 2006

Energy drinks wire teens, worry me

I'm worried about these energy drink. This topic needs to be a new wellness issue talked about in schools and with coaches and teams.

Pittsburgh's market has had a long-standing energy drink for some years. It is called, "Ice Tea." Folks around here gulp the boxed iced tea by the half-gallon.

That stuff is strong in terms of its stimulant.
The State | 10/30/2006 | Energy drinks wire teens, worry others Energy drinks wire teens, worry others
By CARLA K. JOHNSON The Associated Press

CHICAGO — More than 500 new energy drinks launched worldwide this year, and coffee fans are probably too old to understand why.

Energy drinks aren’t merely popular with young people. They attract fan mail on their own MySpace pages. They spawn urban legends. They get reviewed by bloggers. And they taste like carbonated cough syrup.

Vying for the dollars of teenagers with promises of weight loss, increased endurance and legal highs, the new products join top-sellers Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar to make up a $3.4 billion-a-year industry that grew by 80 percent last year.

Thirty-one percent of U.S. teenagers say they drink energy drinks, according to Simmons Research. That represents 7.6 million teens, a jump of almost 3 million in three years.

Nutritionists warn that the drinks, laden with caffeine and sugar, can hook kids on an unhealthy jolt-and-crash cycle. The caffeine comes from multiple sources, making it hard to tell how much the drinks contain. Some have B vitamins, which when taken in megadoses can cause rapid heartbeat, and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.

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