WICHITA, Kansas -- A new article released by the American Academy of Pediatrics addresses the effects of popular energy drinks on kids.
Do you know what's actually in the drinks?
Do you know if your kids are drinking them?
"I'm finding a lot of parents don't realize how much their kids are actually getting a hold of, and sometimes they're shocked when the answer comes out," explains Dr. Amy Seery, a pediatrician at Via Christi.
On the list of questions Dr. Seery asks kids when they come in complaining of headaches, moodiness or trouble sleeping is a question about their frequency consuming energy drinks.
"They promote themselves as an herbal supplement so when you say that, it's no longer regulated by the FDA," says Dr. Seery.
Which means there's no telling what's in the cans. The labels can be misleading.
"They will frequently say, 'It contains no caffeine,' but they're not putting a molecular counterpart to caffeine causing the exact same effects caffeine would have," says Dr. Seery.
That counterpart in energy drinks is called guarana.
Some ingredients can be beneficial.
"The doses that they're giving you are so low, what would be considered the dose to get the benefits of mental clarity or increased productivity, you're not getting enough, you need two or three cans of drinks to have that effect," said Dr. Seery.
And some drinks have an excess of ingredients, which Dr. Seery says doesn't do you much good either.
"Probably you're just having really expensive pee," she explains.
When it comes to kids, the unregulated drinks can have physical consequences.
"There's some concerns this can disrupt bone growth so some of these athletes that want to be big and tall, yet are pounding down an energy drink before practice, don't realize they're stunting the future growth potentially," Dr. Seery said.
She says discussing the dangers of energy drinks with your kids will help them to make smart choices in the future.
If adults choose to drink the energy cocktails, she suggests keeping them outside the house, so your kids don't see you drinking them.