Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Pediatrics Group: Energy Drinks No Good for Kids

American Academy of Pediatrics Also Says Kids Should Avoid Sports Drinks
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

May 31, 2011 -- Children should never drink high-octane energy drinks and rarely need to drink sports drinks, according to a new position paper by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Energy drinks are particularly unhealthy for children due to the risks associated with caffeine and/or other stimulants included in the drink, the report says.

The report is published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

"All of us get a lot of questions about sports and energy drinks and we knew this topic was a Pandora's box," says study co-author Marcie Beth Schneider, MD, a pediatrician at Greenwich Adolescent Medicine in Greenwich, Conn.

Sports Drinks vs. Energy Drinks

"Sports drinks and energy drinks are different types of drinks," she says. Sports drinks contain carbs, minerals, electrolytes, flavoring, and calories. They replace water and electrolytes lost through sweating during intense exercise only. By contrast, energy drinks are loaded with caffeine and other stimulants including guarana and taurine.

The report lists the active ingredients found in many available sports drinks, including Accelerade, All Sport Body Quencher, Gatorade, and Powerade and in energy drinks including Full Throttle, Monster Energy, Power Trip, Red Bull, and Rockstar,

Energy drinks are not appropriate for children and adolescents and should not be consumed, the report states. Some cans or bottles of energy drinks have more than 100 milligrams of caffeine, the report says.

"They have stimulants and should not be confused with sport drinks at all," Schneider says. Side effects from too much caffeine can include increase in heart rate, blood pressure, speech, anxiety levels and lead to insomnia.

"Caffeine is addictive and just like adults, kids can have withdrawal," she says.

"Most sports drinks have calories and sugar which can lead to weight gain and dental erosion," Schneider says. "They have a limited use for specific kids and teen athletes involved in prolonged vigorous sports or other activities."

"These drinks need don't need to be at lunchtime," she says

Let them drink water, says Cynthia Pegler, MD, an adolescent medical specialist in New York City.

"For most kids who do sports, water was the drink to encourage instead of all these other sugary drinks," she says. Watering down a sports drink is not a bad idea per se, but "the more kids learn to like the taste of water, the better it is for them," she says.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration