Like any mom, Dr. Kim Kato is concerned about her children’s nutrition. So when the licensed athletic trainer and professor of health and exercise science at MidAmerica Nazarene University, discovered the dangers of energy drinks, she made it her mission to educate teachers, parents, and athletic trainers about the risks.
Energy drinks, heavily marketed to youth, are touted as natural substances that increase energy and enhance performance. According to research Kato cites, however, there’s no evidence that these drinks provide a competitive performance advantage. Worse, there’s evidence that they may be unsafe, especially for children and teens.
“From a parent’s perspective, it’s always important to know what your child is using on a daily basis,” said Kato. “If they’re relying on these [drinks] to get through the day, that’s a concern.”