I liken energy drinks to the Hydrogen Bomb – an explosion of energy that spells disaster for your pancreas and other glands.

They contain caffeine and sugar, neither of which is good for you, and they lack calcium, vitamins, protein or any nutritional value. In fact, they rob you of calcium, causing osteoporosis at a far younger age. Studies show that a 300ml can of soda a day can give you a 60% chance of obesity. And no matter how the manufacturers cloak it, energy drinks are full of sugar too.

While an occasional cup of coffee does no harm, invariably people who drink caffeinated drinks every day start depending on them. Try taking away their coffee or cola and they get headaches, stomach-aches and feel sleepy or grumpy all day. Imagine your kids being whiny and grumpy because they didn’t get their energy drink fix. Becoming caffeine addicts at such a young age can do irreparable harm to their academic performance and actually impact their relationship with peers as well.

Caffeine makes your heart rate go up, so your heart has to work harder. Your blood pressure also rises and undetected, high blood pressure is a silent killer. It damages the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys, ultimately causing them to fail.

Caffeine is also a diuretic. That means that it makes your kidneys work harder and excretes more water in the form of urine. This might not be a huge problem for a large adult but children and teenagers are smaller and are more severely affected by dehydration.

Another side-effect of the caffeine in energy drinks is to keep you awake. Children and teens need more sleep than adults. While adults typically function well on 7 ½ to 8 hours of sleep, teens often need 10 hours of sleep daily to stay healthy. Younger children require even more. Caffeine makes it hard to sleep, so it’s not a good idea when you need 10 hours of sleep in a 24 hour day. Many youngsters drink it before bedtime, affecting sleep and diverting energy, which would otherwise be used for muscle and cell repair.

Caffeine also changes the pattern of brain activity, activates the adrenal gland, and thus causes aggression. It is highly addictive, as it gets absorbed into the brain immediately; causing you to feel a slump equally fast and making you feel like reaching out for another quick burst of energy.

And finally, energy drinks are like sodas in that they contain a lot of sugar. Not only is the sugar "empty calories" it also increases the rate of dental cavities).

While obviously, it is your choice to drink whatever you wish, just remember that every drink that doesn’t provide nutrition to your children is replacing one that can.

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