Caffeine Craving Teens Have Higher Blood Pressure

Caffeine loving could be genetic. Not only could this be impacting the sleep of teens, it may be raising their blood pressure!  With various types of energy drinks on the market today, and increased marketing efforts to kids, teenagers are consuming more caffeine than ever.  The main sources of caffeine for adolescents are soda and energy drinks, but it can also be found in coffee flavored foods and chocolate.  Regular coffee consumption also tends to begin in adolescence.  But how will it affect your teen’s health?
In a recent study looking at caffeine consumption in adolescents, researchers found that subjects’ blood pressure rose, and heart rates slowed as they were given greater amounts of caffeine.  This is a normal response to caffeine, meaning that adolescents react to caffeine much like adults do.  However, as stated above the main sources of caffeine for this demographic are soda and energy drinks, two beverages that are also high in sugar. Those teenagers with higher caffeine consumption also had diets which were poorer in nutritional quality.  Basically, those kids that are choosing caffeinated beverages are also choosing foods which are high in sugar and fat.  It seems that the caffeine itself is not entirely the problem, but also indicative of a greater problem, the child’s overall diet.

 

Boys were found to consume more caffeine than girls, and the most popular reason was to “boost athletic performance.”  Though sports energy drinks have been proven increase sports performance, it’s only if teens workout hard for over a half an hour. Plus, the same benefits

General recommendations for caffeine consumption in young adults have yet to be established, but energy drinks in particular should be avoided.  Since energy drink manufacturers claim their products are “nutritional supplements”, they are not subject to the same regulations as sodas regarding accuracy of label claims. Meaning your teenager may be consuming more caffeine than he/she bargained for.


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