Medwatch-Energy drink concerns

Medwatch-Energy drink concerns

(CNN) -Energy drinks are growing in popularity, but not everyone should drink them.

Energy drinks…they're cheap, high-octane and readily available in stores. Maybe too readily available. A recent study found that over 40 percent of all energy drink-related calls to poison control centers in the U.S. were for kids under 6, many of them suffering serious nervous system and heart symptoms.

"A can or a bottle of an energy drink could have as much as 500mg of caffeine, which is equal to about 14 cans of soda. So, way higher than you'd want a child to have. Sometimes, these drinks aren't labeled well, so you don't see what the ingredients can be, including the high amounts of caffeine and a the child may think it's the same as any type of soda or juice that their parents might be ok with giving them," explained Dr. Jennifer Shu, pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children's.

Dr. Shu says the dangers of over consumption for kids, and even adults, varies from minor problems to much more serious complications.

"As simple as headaches or some shakiness or jitteriness, but they could even be more serious like problems with your heart rhythm where your heart is irregular, it beats too fast or even seizures," Dr. Shu said.

But it's not just the caffeine and other stimulants raising concerns, the drinks are also often filled with sugar.

"Too much of that sugar can cause weight gain as well as cavities," Dr. Shu said.

In general, Dr. Shu says it's best to keep kids away from anything but the basics.

"For the most part, all of the fluid your body needs can be found in water, in milk and some 100 percent fruit juice. You really don't need what's marketed as sports drinks with electrolytes unless you're doing some really vigorous physical exercise," Dr. Shu said.

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