How Caffeine Harms Teen Brains – Not to Mention, Energy Drinks & Protein Powders!

How Caffeine Harms Teen Brains

Inspired] ~ Brian Krans on September 25, 2013

Caffeine is readily available in products—everything from gum to energy drinks—marketed to children and young adults.

However, the long-term effects of caffeine, especially on young people, are still now becoming more understood by research.

We know caffeine can affect sleep ~

Why is sleep important for the NORMAL DEVELOPMENT OF PREFTONAL brain~
Sleep is important to a number of brain functions, including how nerve cells (neurons) communicate with each other. In fact, your brain and body stay remarkably active while you sleep. Recent findings suggest that sleep plays a housekeeping role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake.Aug 13, 2019

Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep | National Institute of …

The functions of the prefrontal cortex have been abundantly theorized. This brain area is implicated in emotional, social, motivational, perceptual, and other processes. Research in both humans and animals has indicated a central role of the brain’s frontal regions in cognition.Oct 27, 2017

What constitutes the prefrontal cortex? | Science


Grownups often drink it because it can “aid alertness”.
Yerba Mate is worth investigating & be high on your list.…
(Yerba Mate tea is a “SAFE alternative” to tea & coffee,

All tea beverages are energy boosters,
but yerba mate tea ~  


Yerba Mate has properties SIMILAR to caffeine which provides incredibly clear energy levels and mental alertness. The stimulant this energy comes from, is a unique form of xanthine ( a stimulant in coffee ). … Unlike caffeine, Yerba Mate induces better sleep. This tea provided enough nutrients to act as a vegetable.Jul 11, 2011

It contains an amount of caffeine ~ but is less likely than coffee to give you the jitters ~Also,
It hosts significant health benefits by protecting your heart and providing antioxidants! Although it may contain less health benefits than GREEN TEA…
if you need something more caffeinated,

Best of all, YERBE MATE ~
the beverage has been widely consumed in South America for hundreds of years.

There is very little that goes go wrong…
if you drink in moderation and follow proper guidelines to minimize any side effects…



Protein in excess of what your body needs isn’t automatically stored as muscle. It might be stored as fat. In addition, “too much protein puts strain on the kidneys, can lead to dehydration, bloating, nausea, osteoporosis, and more,” Collingwood said. And, of course, protein powder on its own is not a meal.May 2, 2017

(CNN)  ENERGY DRINKS ~ may promise a boost, but experts are increasingly concerned that their cocktails of ingredients could have unintended BODY & MENTAL health risks.

Energy drinks and the brain



Higgins, who has led multiple studies on energy drinks and health impacts, agreed. With the caffeine, sugar and stimulants, Higgins previously told CNN that more research is needed to determine how those ingredients could interact to cause negative health effects. “They’re sort of a black box. We really don’t know a lot about them,” Higgins said of energy drinks.

“People need to be aware of that,” he said. “For certain groups, it could be potentially dangerous, like for those under 18, women who are pregnant, people who have a caffeine sensitivity, people who don’t consume caffeine on a regular basis and people who are taking certain medications, like Adderall for attention deficit (disorder).”



Depending on how many energy drinks you consume, doses of caffeine equal to or above 200 milligrams can be linked to caffeine intoxication, according to a paper published in the International Journal of Health Sciences in 2015. Symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, gastrointestinal irritation, muscle twitching, restlessness and periods of inexhaustibility.

A study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that caffeinated energy drinks alter the heart’s electrical activity and raised blood pressure.

The extent of these electrical changes — which signal the heart’s chambers squeezing and relaxing — is “generally considered mild,” according to study author Sachin Shah, a professor of pharmacy at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at the University of the Pacific. However, people who take certain medications or have a specific type of heart condition could be at increased risk of a fatal arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, he added.

“Unlike drugs, supplements and consumer products do not necessarily get tested for safety,” Shah said in an email.

The American Beverage Association stands by the safety of energy drinks, indicating that many of their ingredients are also found in common foods and have been rigorously studied for safety.

But health experts like the World Health Organization say they “may pose danger to public health.” Children “should not consume” them, cautions the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Still, the global energy drink market continues to grow. It was worth $39 billion in 2013 and is forecast to reach $61 billion by 2021.

So what exactly is inside these drinks, and how do they impact your body?

‘A black box’

Over the years, concerned experts have been getting closer to answering those questions, said Dr. John Higgins, a sports cardiologist with McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.

Most energy drinks typically contain large amounts of caffeine; added sugars; vitamins, such as B vitamins; and legal stimulants, such as guarana, a plant that grows in the Amazon; taurine, an amino acid that’s naturally found in meat and fish; and L-carnitine, a substance in our bodies that helps turn fat into energy.

What’s in your energy drink?

“Overall, the concern is that these vitamins, amino acids and herbals are often in higher concentrations than naturally in food or plants, and the effects when combined especially with caffeine may be enhanced,” Katherine Zeratsky, a clinical dietitian at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, previously told CNN.

How much ‘energy’ kids, adults could drink



The copious amounts of caffeine that energy drinks tend to contain are why the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that children avoid consuming them.

Can you OD on caffeine?

“To give you an idea of products containing caffeine, Java Monster contains 100 milligrams per serving; 5 Hour Energy contains 200 milligrams per serving, and keep in mind that does not include amounts of other stimulants found in energy drinks that can enhance the effects of caffeine,” said Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr, nutrition specialist and vice chairwoman in the department of nutrition at the University of California, Davis.

When energy drinks contained real (radioactive) energy

Rachel Hicks, a spokeswoman for the American Beverage Association, previously issued a statement from the group that said many people around the world have safely consumed energy drinks for more than 25 years. \“Many of the ingredients in energy drinks, such as B vitamins and taurine, are found naturally in many foods,” the statement said. “The fact remains that energy drinks have been extensively studied and confirmed safe for consumption by government safety authorities worldwide including a recent review by the European Food Safety Authority. America’s leading energy drink manufacturers voluntarily go beyond all federal requirements when it comes to responsible labeling and marketing practices, including displaying total caffeine content — from all sources — on their packages,” the statement said. “As recently as 2015, EFSA again concluded that it is unlikely that energy drink ingredients such as taurine interact adversely with, or enhance the effects of, caffeine.”

Here’s a look at how certain parts of your body may be affected after guzzling more than the recommended amount of energy drink, according to experts.

‘Arteries of his heart were completely locked up’

After chugging an energy drink, you might notice your heart rate increase.

Your rapidly beating heart could pose a health risk, as “energy drinks not only have been shown to raise stress levels, increase heart rate, increase blood pressure, they’ve also been shown to make the blood a little bit thicker,” Higgins said.

The impacts that energy drinks may have on your heart and cardiovascular system could be due to how the caffeine interacts with other ingredients, such as the taurine, Higgins said.

Taurine, a common amino acid, can affect the levels of water and minerals in your blood. Bits of guarana, the plant from the Amazon, are commonly added to energy drinks and already contain caffeine, which can increase a drink’s total caffeine amount.

“There’s been several cases described of people that have gone into cardiac arrest after consuming more than one energy beverage, and when they’ve done sort of further analysis on these individuals, they haven’t been able to find anything abnormal other than the very high levels of caffeine and taurine in the toxicology,” Higgins said.

“In one case, a young 28-year-old who drunk eight cans of an energy drink actually went into cardiac arrest, and they found his arteries of his heart were completely locked up. When they were able to open them up, all the testing revealed nothing wrong with this person other than he had high levels of caffeine and taurine,” he said.

The US military has even warned against troops consuming too many energy drinks since doing so has been associated with sleep disruption, leading to periods of fatigue during briefings or on guard duty.

Service members who drank three or more energy drinks per day were more likely to report about four hours of sleep or less, on average, per night than those who drank two or fewer a day, according to a study conducted in 2010.

The Consortium for Health and Military Performance recommends that service members, from sailors to Marines, limit their caffeine intake to no more than 200 milligrams every four hours and no more than 800 milligrams throughout the day, according to the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center 

Some papers and research have linked energy drink consumption to an increased risk for symptoms ofmental health problems. However, a review paper published in the Journal of Caffeine Research last year suggests that there is not enough evidence to determine causation or direction of effect.

Now that energy drinks have grown in popularity, especially among adolescents, many health experts are concerned about the impacts they could have on young consumers.

For adolescents, 12 to 18, the academy recommendsthat they should not exceed 100 milligrams of caffeine a day, according to the CDC.

An intake of caffeine greater than 100 milligrams a day has been associated with elevated blood pressure in adolescents, Zidenberg-Cherr previously told CNN.ome 1,145 Americans ages 12 to 17 were admitted to emergency rooms for energy drink-related health emergencies in 2007, according to the CDC. That number climbed to 1,499 in 2011.


As for most adults, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe, according to the Mayo Clinic. “Healthy adults who choose to drink energy drinks should not exceed one can per day,” the Mayo Clinic’s Zeratsky said.

Some parents and children may not even be aware of the potential health risks associated with energy drinks due to the way they are marketed, Zidenberg-Cherr said.

“There is no regulation of the marketing of energy drinks targeted at young adults,” she said.

Energy drinks are popular among young athletes, especially for an extra energy boost. Yet the National Federation of State High School Associationsrecommends that they not be used for hydration prior to, during or after physical activity.


Furthermore, a common ingredient in energy drinks, guarana, is mentioned in the NCAA’s 2016-17 banned drugs list, which is provided online.


Higgins, the Houston sports cardiologist, said that while shopping at a grocery store on a recent Saturday morning, he saw a woman with a 12-pack of Red Bull. Her son, who Higgins said appeared to be about 11 years old and who was wearing soccer gear, stood nearby.


They were waiting in line at a checkout counter.


“She was having a conversation, and the boy said, ‘Oh, yeah, gee, our team will really do well today when we’re having the Red Bull at the halftime.’ And I was just thinking, wow, back in our day, we used to have oranges, bananas, water and juice, and they’re doing energy drinks,” Higgins said.


“That just sort of told me, the mom obviously didn’t understand that these are not like oranges or bananas or even juices,” he said. “These are a completely different beast, and that’s part of the confusion that people have.”

CNN’s Michael Nedelman contributed to this report.

7 Benefits of Green Tea. …
Helps Protect Heart Health. …
May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s or Memory Loss. …
Helps Protect Brain Cells From Free Radical Damage. …
May Help Prevent Diabetes or Insulin Resistance. …
Promotes Bone Health. …
Prevents Eye Disease and Protects Vision. …
May Reduce Your Appetite.
Top 7 Benefits of Green Tea + Green Tea Recipes – Dr. Axe

But when CAFFEINE  affects children’s sleep—
Sleep & meditation (downtime) 13 hours very useful
for the “Prefrontal Brain to “download”
& sort through the days experienced …
Discern & prepare the Thinking Brain to work more efficiently for the next day’s work

Which “mounting scientific evidence”…
Scientist are saying that sleep (and downtime) is
critical for brain development—
it really does hold mental development back.

How Caffeine Stunt. Children’s Brain Development” &
Foods that Increase & Foster Strong Brain Development in Developing Children & Adult Brain Maintenance …

“Supplements’ not useful at Natural (not “altered” synthetic foods)…Supplements are a “thin slice” of needed nutrients & are EXCESS that taxes the body to process & disposes of that EXCESS ~

Omega 3 ….(not “Genetically Modified” or “Heat Altered…
.Their diet is better suited if it is PREDOMINATELY (alkaline-not acid or Animal Protein)-Now Stressed to Market )Cortisol Factory) & fed with GMO feed.…. …Plant Protein…the “Forgotten Protein” is easier for the body to digest more efficiently. When food is “right” for the system….the PROTEIN is more effectively assimilated” … “PLANT PROTEIN”…. it builds & maintains better THE “CNS”….Central Nervous System… The Prefrontal THINKING Brain….The body…(MUSCLES)…can utilize Animal Protein…But the Brain… not so much……Since the “neural tissue” accompanies the muscles…as tissue grows & needs repair… Animal Protein gives rise to “AGGRESSIVE…IRRITABLE BEHAVIOR”…Research is showing…(Dr. Bonnie Bezzhold at Benedictine University)..…Irritability… Aggression….Violence…Crime…It can cause mood destabilization.….dysfunctional behavior may result… It may be worsened & misdirected by the dependence on fast & processed food…Dependence on the ‘WHITE MENACE” foods….EXCESS of “refined” WHEAT flour & Heat processed (roasted nuts &
All EXCESS eliminated & “Altered processed “ foods… What will replace will be ~ Non-GMO (Altered)-whole grains… Non-Dairy (Altered) pasteurized dairy)… & ALCOHOL…Respected (taste of …one glass per day)… Meat (taste of to favor not eat). What returns on the LIVE food Asian Diet is Impulse Control ….Peace to the family & society…. Truth in Relationships…

A new study in the journal PLOS ONE concerns caffeine consumption in pubescent lab rats. Researchers found that young rats who consumed the rat-sized equivalent of the caffeine in three or four cups of coffee daily experienced reduced deep sleep and delayed brain development.
Caffeine impacts development by disrupting the formation of key connections in the brain, said study author Dr. Reto Huber, a sleep expert at the University of Zurich, and others at the University of Zurich Children’s Hospital. During adolescence, your brain has the most neural connections it will ever have during your lifetime.

“The brain of children is extremely plastic..
NEUROPLASTICITY-FOR A LIFETIME, (expecially if nourished with .. due to the many connections,” Huber said in a statement accompanying the research. “This optimization presumably occurs during deep sleep. Key synapses extend, others are reduced; this makes the network more efficient and the brain more powerful.”

10 Tips to Get Your Kids to Sleep

From Curious Minds to Cautious Ones
The Zurich research team administered doses of caffeine to 30-day-old rats over five days and measured the electrical impulses in their brains. The rat’s slow brain waves during the deepest phase of sleep were reduced from day 31 until day 42, or nearly a week after they stopped receiving caffeine.

Compared with rats given only water, the caffeinated rats had fewer neural connections, and this affected their behavior: rats, like children, become more curious with age, but the rats given caffeine remained timid and cautious.

As the brain develops, cells begin to make connections to solidify things the mind deems important. When that process is disrupted, problems can arise. Huber cautions parents to monitor the amount of caffeine given to their children and teens.

The Difference a Red Bull Can Make
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that school-aged children get at least 10 hours of shut-eye a night.
A study in the journal Nutrition Research shows that every 10 milligrams of caffeine a 13-year-old boy drinks per day increases his chances of getting less than 8.5 hours of sleep by 12 percent.

Strange Sleep Habits From Around the World


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s