Although not recommended for children and teenagers, energy drinks are often advertised using youth appealing packaging and product names and at youth oriented events (e.g., sporting events, alcohol-alternative promotions and product placement in video games).6
Health Canada says that companies are not allowed to promote energy drinks to children.7 If you see energy drinks promoted to children (e.g., through sampling or advertising at a children/youth focused event), provide the name of the energy drink company and related information to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at 1-800-442-2342 or send the information online.
Health Canada set 180 mg as the highest caffeine amount in energy drinks for single serve containers. Even with this limit, children and adolescents may easily exceed their maximum safe caffeine amount8 and are at more risk for behavioural effects.9
Energy Drinks and Sugar
Most energy drinks are packed with sugar. One energy drink can have the same amount of sugar as 5½ large donuts.10 11 Tell your friends – you wouldn't eat this much sugar ... so why drink it?
3Pennington, N., Johnson, M., Delaney, E., & Blankenship, M. (2010). Energy drinks: A new health hazard for adolescents. The Journal of School Nursing, 26(5), 352-359.
4Atlantic Collaborative on Preventative Injury. (2011). Caffeinated alcoholic beverages and injury. Author.
5Roehrs, T., & Roth, T. (2008). Caffeine: sleep and daytime sleepiness. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 12(2), 153-162.
6Seifert, S., Schaechter, J., Hershorin, E., & Lipshultz, S. (2011). Health effects of energy drinks on children, adolescents, and young adults. Pediatrics, 127, 511-528.
8Reissig, C., Strain, E., & Griffiths, R. (2009). Caffeinated energy drinks: A growing problem. Drug Alcohol and Dependence, 99(1-3), 1-10.
10Health Canada. (2008). Nutrient value of some common foods. Ottawa, ON: Author.
11Klepacki, B. (2010). Energy drinks: A review article. Strength and Conditional Journal, 32(1), 37-41.
12Rath, M. (2012). Energy drinks: What is all the hype? The dangers of energy drink consumption. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 24, 70-76.
13Dietitians of Canada. (2012). Current issues the inside story: Energy drinks revisited. Retrieved from PEN: The Global Resource for Nutrition Practice online database.