Parents have been warned by Medical Experts, not to allow their children to consume energy drinks, as it may cause digestive problems, dehydration, anxiety, jitteriness, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure.
Medical Experts also warned that caffeine intoxication in children can affect the development of the nervous system and heart functions.
The physicians expressed worries that children are more susceptible to negative health consequences due to the high doses of caffeine present in energy drinks.
Speaking exclusively with PUNCH Healthwise, Dr. Samuel Owoyemi, a Paediatric Cardiologist said children with underlying and undiagnosed heart conditions are more at risk of suffering worse effects from energy drink consumption.
However, he maintained that it could be worse for children as they can adversely suffer from irregular heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias, that can occur due to hyperstimulation of the heart Punch Newspaper reports.
While stating that caffeine is an important ingredient in energy drinks, he warned that excessive intake of the substance by adults might cause palpitations, hypertension, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, psychosis, and, in rare instances, death.
“Arrhythmias can affect how much blood is pumped throughout the body, making you feel dizzy. Arrhythmias that are left untreated over time may develop into more serious or deadly disorders.
“You don’t need energy drinks because they are filled with non-nutritional stimulants like caffeine. Children may be more susceptible to the ingredients in energy drinks than adults. Regular energy drink consumption stresses the body, and a developing body shouldn’t be stressed,” Dr. Owoyemi said.
Regarding this, a Consultant Paediatrician, Bello Surajudeen, affirmed that the consumption of energy drinks by children can cause mental health issues, and addiction, as well as pose nutritional challenges.
He further explained that children who take energy drinks may suffer from overnutrition or undernutrition, pointing out that the drink mostly causes micronutrient deficiency.
He said, “The dangers of drinking energy drinks are many. It can cause nutritional problems in children and has negative effects on their hearts. It can also have negative mental effects on children.
“In terms of heart problems, it is usually centred on having an abnormal heartbeat. There is also the risk of having palpitations, in which case, the heart will be beating very fast.”
He also said, “Nutritionals wise, when some children become addicted to it, they will not want to eat nutritious food again and will become dependent on fast foods and energy drinks, which they believe makes them feel better.
“It will also tilt them towards overnutrition, overweight or obesity. They can also suffer from undernutrition. With undernutrition, they will have what we call micronutrient deficiency because there are som“It will also tilt them towards overnutrition, overweight or obesity. They can also suffer from undernutrition. With undernutrition, they will have what we call micronutrient deficiency because there are some nutrients that they can only get from food, which are absent in those energy drinks nutrients that they can only get from food, which are absent in those energy drinks.