Many of us enjoy a daily cup of coffee, but few of us would offer caffeine-containing drinks to our kids. Yet because of the lack of labeling requirements and the avalanche of advertising directed at children, many kids are regularly drinking energy drinks that pack a wallop of caffeine per can.
A cup of coffee typically contains 80 to 140 milligrams of caffeine. A can of Enviga, Mountain Dew Game Fuel, Red Bull, Rip It, Slam, and Snapple Elements has the same amount of caffeine. Arizona Green Tea Energy, Celsius, Fixx, Jolt Cola and Vamp all top off at 200 milligrams or more.
The new fad of combining an energy shot plus an energy drink can more than double the caffeine in a very small volume of fluid. Older teens are likely to combine energy drinks with alcohol to create a combined buzz and intoxication.
As parents we need to lobby for caffeine labeling similar to that found on caffeine tablets and to limit advertising of energy drinks to kid.