Southern Belle Magazine May 2013, Issue 1 - Page 102

To drink or that is the question! not to drink... Ah, springtime in the South… Azaleas are in bloom, gardens are being planted and Little League Baseball games are in full swing! I would imagine that the conversations on the way to the car are pretty much the same, too. “Do you have your glove? Did you remember your batting helmet? Did you grab a drink?” Although baseball is a national pastime, it can be a dangerous sport. As parents, we try to keep our kids safe by making sure they remember their gloves, helmet, and other safety equipment to help keep them injury free. We also make sure that they grab a drink to help keep them hydrated. But did you know that what they drink can possibly hurt them more than a poorly aimed fast ball? Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve got in the cooler, shall we? WORST The absolute worst drink you can put in the cooler for your child is an Energy Drink. They come under a number of names that kids find attractive, but they are NOT intended for children. These drinks come with claims of greater energy, increased stamina, and improved concentration and focus. What they also come with, however, are high levels of caffeine and additional stimulants, such as Guarana and Ginseng. In the scientific study “Health Effects of Energy Drinks on Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults,” by Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, published online on February 14, 2011, researchers found that when ingested in large quantities, these stimulants can have harmful effects on both children and adults. The study found excessive consumption of caffeine had been linked to anxiety, vomiting, irritability, insomnia and even heart rhythm disorder and palpitations. Some energy drinks contain 200mg or more of caffeine, compared with a mere 45mg found in Diet Coke, for example. Additionally, consuming large quantities of Guarana and Ginseng(both common energy drink ingredients) are reported to cause equally disturbing conditions, including insomnia, irritability, high blood pressure and heart palpitations. BAD Even with nearly 100 different varieties to choose from, soda is another not-so good drink option for kids. Soda has no nutritional value, so drinking this sugary 16