Can 13 Year Olds Drink Red Bull? Are They Old Enough?

Energy drinks have become more trendy than soda, coffee, and tea among typical youngsters. These days, children and millennials are fans of energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster. But, the question is that should they be allowed to drink them daily? Or are there any side effects of these drinks? Or do such drinks really provide lasting energy?

Energy drinks are mostly caffeine, sugar, and other stimulants that don’t give long-lasting energy but offer a temporary energy boost. However, 13-year-olds should never drink energy drinks as this would lead to tooth decay and obesity. Water is always the recommended drink to constantly have for kids at such an age. 

Are energy drinks safe for teens?

Well, the answer to this question is quite clear, and that’s a NO. Thousands of people went to the emergency room for problems associated with energy drinks, and most of them were adolescents and young adults. 

Here’s a story of a young 14 years old girl who died of cardiac arrest, due to caffeine toxicity, within 24-hours of consuming 2 cans of Monster energy drink. Also, a young boy lost his life within a few hours of drinking a latte, soda, and an energy drink. All of these beverages are high in caffeine, and his body could not handle that large amount of caffeine, and as a result, he died.

Energy drinks – such as Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, etc – are loaded with stimulant caffeine and other substances that increase the heart rate and put a lot of stress on the brain and heart. 

Did you know that a 16 ounces energy drink can consist of 420mg of caffeine which is equivalent to drinking 14 cans of Coke? Not only this, a single serving of energy drink contains many times more caffeine than a cup of coffee. Now, as a parent, the choice is yours – do you really want your kid to drink energy drinks?

What happens if a 13-year-old drinks Red Bull?

A tired teenage girl is laying on the sofa, feeling the crash after having Red Bull some time ago.

Consumers of energy drinks do not know the hazards of the high levels of caffeine in them and keep on consuming them daily. These drinks are slow poison for teenage kids and could also lead to sudden death due to extreme caffeine overload. Other possible health issues include:

Tooth decay

Energy drinks like Red Bull contain a high level of caffeine and contain high levels of sugar. This sugar provides a feast to the harmful bacteria in your mouth, and as a result, they produce acid. Moreover, continuously exposing your teeth to acid can form cavities and dissolve your tooth enamel. Eventually, this can lead to tooth loss.

Obesity

Regular consumption of energy drinks can make your kid obese. Drinking energy drinks gives a feeling of fullness; feeling full on the empty calories will make your child skip their healthy meals and snack more – leading to obesity. Also, such drinks contain a huge amount of calories that can turn into fat if not burned.

Additionally, with obesity comes diabetes, heart issues, and joints problems. Not only this, but it also leads to low self-esteem, lack of mobility, and lifelong weight problems.

Certainly, you don’t want this to happen to your kid, right? So, make your youngsters leave the Red Bull right now.

Insomnia and restlessness

Is your child restless and can’t concentrate? Energy drinks can be the reason behind your child’s such behavior. 

The energy boost provided by energy drinks is due to the huge amount of caffeine, sugar, and other substances. However, this boost is temporary and short-lived and accompanied by many other problems.

The caffeine in these drinks stimulates your kid’s nervous system, and a high dose of caffeine can result in anxiety, dizziness, nervousness, restlessness, and insomnia as well. Consequently, it will affect your child’s performance in school and also take him to the road of obesity. Not only this, caffeine will speed up his heart and brain functions, and he may have muscle tremors. 

Dehydration

Overconsumption of caffeine often leads to seizures, dehydration, and dangerously high blood pressure. This doesn’t sound good for your teenagers, right?

Caffeinated drinks tend your teens to urinate more, which can lead to dehydration. In order to rehydrate them, make sure that they are drinking plenty of water. Water is a calorie-free, sugar-free, and caffeine-free solution for dehydration. Thus, make it a habit that your kids drink water whenever they are thirsty.

Sugar Rush

A 13-year-old girl had a red bull earlier and felt a rush, but is now feeling the crash while she is sitting in class at school.

Too much sugar absorbed in the blood can alter your child’s mood, concentration, and behavior. Therefore, often teachers report a sugar rush when kids take an abundant amount of sugar. This can be because of consuming energy drinks regularly.

This will adversely affect your teen’s academic performance and he may lag behind his other classmates.

Missing meals

Energy drinks give a feeling of fullness as they are loaded with sugar. This substantial amount of sugar makes your child’s tummy full, and they don’t eat anything, rather they tend to take more snacks. 

These drinks make children skip meals, miss out on proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, and essential minerals and nutrients. This will, in turn, affect their growth and development. Hence, as a parent, you should make sure that your kids are taking a well-balanced diet.

So, what should you do?

A 13-year-old girl feeling better after drinking some water, to rehydrate after having a caffeinated drink.

13-year-olds don’t need the energy boost offered by energy drinks. They can get a sufficient amount of energy from balanced meals. You can also help your kids in keeping their energy steady throughout the day by making healthy life choices, such as:

  1. Not allowing your kid to skip breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it kick-starts the metabolism. And your kid needs the energy to start their day and to perform well in school. Whereas, skipping breakfast will make your kid’s energy levels decrease and make him lazy, sleepy, and tired throughout the whole day.
  2. Your 13 years old needs to snack throughout the day to keep his energy level steady and to prevent blood sugar levels from plummeting and spiking. However, make sure that your child is taking healthy snacks, like fruits, yogurt, and whole grains snacks.
  3. Encourage your kids to drink water, nothing else, whenever he feels thirsty. As I discussed earlier that dehydration is caused by too much caffeine which is the main ingredient of energy drinks. And with dehydration comes fatigue, thus, make sure that your kid is drinking water and nothing else.

FAQs

Does Red Bull stunt your growth?

No, there’s no such evidence that drinking energy drinks have any effect on height. The main component in these drinks is caffeine and it won’t slow down your kid’s growth or lead them to shorter adults.

However, it has other adverse effects such as anxiety, obesity. Also, it can affect the growth and development of a child even before birth. Therefore, it’s better not to consume energy drinks.

Is Red Bull addictive?

Yes, Red Bull can be addictive from a psychological point of view. Obviously, its effects are not as severe as cocaine, heroin, or alcohol. However, children and adults who get used to energy drinks won’t be able to perform their day-to-day activities without these drinks.

Caffeine and sugar are the main ingredients of energy drinks and people who get used to them often complain about headaches. So, consuming energy drinks daily makes you dependent on them for performing daily activities well.

Is Red Bull bad for your liver?

Yes, Red Bull is bad for your liver. The ingredients of energy drinks are known to cause toxicity with an overdose. Several instances of clinically apparent acute liver injury have been reported due to excess intake of energy drinks.

Well, liver damage is caused only by overconsumption of niacin, and the famous energy drink brands contain niacin. Therefore, beware before taking such drinks.

Can Monster kill you?

Monster drink has called itself a “killer energy brew” and “the meanest energy supplement on the planet.” It can kill you, due to caffeine toxicity, only if you over-consume it. Also, the can says that it is not recommended for people and children who are sensitive to caffeine. 

Is caffeine ok for 13 year olds?

Kids aged 12 to 18 should not consume more than 100 mg of caffeine per day as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). That’s equivalent to a single 8 oz. cup of coffee. However, for children under 12 years, there’s no designated safe threshold.

At what age can I drink Red Bull?

In the first place, you shouldn’t be consuming any energy drink. However, there is no age restriction on the sale of any caffeine-containing beverages. Health experts say that kids under the age of 16 should be banned from buying Red Bull or other energy drinks.

Final thoughts

Sales of energy drinks rise every year and its consumers are mostly youngsters. Therefore, it’s our duty to act now and take the necessary steps to protect the health of our children. As parents, you need to stop your kids, right now, from consuming energy drinks and should also keep a check and balance on your kids’ diet.

You should talk to your young ones about the hazards of energy drinks and educate them on how they will adversely impact their health in the long run.