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Wellness Center

Energy drinks

11/03/2008

Question:

are these energy drinks bad my son he`s 18 and he drinks gatorade and alot of energy drinks are they bad

Answer:

Thanks for your question. While energy drinks are not "bad", they aren't nutritional all-stars either. Most energy drinks contain a combination of sugar and other chemicals (such as caffeine) to 'boost' energy levels. Some are vitamin fortified, which may make them seem healthy, but they really should not replace food.

Most energy drinks can add a lot of empty calories and not much nutritional value to a person's diet.  In addition, they may be taking the place of more nutritious food.

If your 18 year old is extremely active in sports (i.e., works out for over an hour a day on a regular basis), he may be burning off most of the empty calories in an energy drink or Gatorade. But, if he is sedentary, these drinks may only be adding to his waistline in the long run.

My advice? Encourage more water and low-fat milk, and 100% juice (in moderation). Energy drinks are not worth the money, or extra calories.

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Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati