A recent study on caffeine consumption by kids showed that children have access to more caffeine than ever before, and that they are consuming excessive caffeine in the form of energy drinks and coffee.
With iced blended coffee beverages easily available, and energy drinks being wide spread, children’s growing bodies are getting exposed to levels of caffeine which exceed what is healthy, by all standards.
HOW CAFFEINE WORKS
Caffeine is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system. It occurs naturally at moderate levels in chocolate, coffee, and tea. Caffeine is also artificially manufactured and added to beverages like soda and energy drinks.
Too much caffeine can cause upset stomach; over time it can create serious damage to the entire digestive tract – especially to the lining of the esophagus, stomach and small intestine.
OTHER MAJOR SIDE EFFECTS INCLUDE:
- increased blood pressure
- increased heart rate
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty sleeping
- anxiety & panic
- nervousness & irritability
- nutrient depletion
It is important to know that in children, it takes very little caffeine to produce these side effects. In addition to the list above, children who drink caffeine are also particularly vulnerable to obesity, nutritional deficiencies, lowered bone density, and cavities.
OTHER TOXINS IN HIGHLY CAFFEINATED DRINKS
It is not only the caffeine we need to be concerned about in energy and coffee drinks; many of these beverages are full of toxic chemicals, pesticides, and genetically modified food products. When it comes to keeping your kids happy, hydrated, and healthy, I recommend filtered water, juice, coconut water, milk, almond milk, smoothies or whatever other kind of milk works for you and your family. For treats either homemade sodas or kombucha drinks. Here are my favorite resources for making your own healthy, fermented beverages: check out this book, this one, and this one. This book is only $1 on amazon!
If the family is taking an outing to Starbucks, try one of their smoothies or a warm chamomile tea for the kids.
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