Dr. Bill tells us why you should keep your kids away from energy drinks and “caffeine powder.” Show Notes

Monday, July 21, 2014 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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The parents of an Arizona teen are blaming energy drinks for their daughter's death. According to PluggedIn.com, Lanna Hamann, age 16, started having trouble breathing and went into cardiac arrest shortly after downing several energy drinks.

Dr. Jack Wolfson, a cardiologist in Phoenix, says "There is medical evidence that these things do harm. These drinks should be regulated as alcohol is, no one under the age of 21 should be allowed to have them."

I’ve mentioned in the past that a safe dose of caffeine is usually considered 200 to 300 milligrams, or two to four cups of coffee per day.

Energy drinks like Red Bull usually contain around 80 milligrams of caffeine in an eight-ounce can. Some of the bigger cans (such as a 16-ounce Monster) have up to 240 milligrams.  Meanwhile, a 16-ounce cup of coffee packs about 300 milligrams.

Experts say that unlike coffee drinkers, energy drink consumers (especially young people) like to chug down not just one, but two or three to get a good jolt on before a hardcore workout, a soccer practice or a night of dancing.

All the press about energy drinks led the FDA to take a fresh look at caffeinated food -- and it plans to focus on how energy drinks impact young people.

And while the dangers of overdoing it with caffeine-laden energy drinks are relatively more well known, have you heard about the use of “caffeine powder”

A high school senior in Ohio recently died after overdosing on an unregulated caffeine supplement he purchased online.

Doctors say that the teen had 70 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of blood in his system. By comparison, a typical coffee drinker would only have three to five micrograms in their bloodstream.

To learn more about kids and caffeine, go to healthychildren.org.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.
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