Earlier this month the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) released a position stand on energy drinks. My immediate assumption was that they were going to discourage their use. I, foolishly, assumed this because the use of energy drinks may be linked to a number of deaths, as well as other dangerous side effects.
The actual position stand stated that they may be beneficial to athletic performance due to the caffeine content. Although users should be aware that calories consumed may outweigh calories burned when using these drinks. They cautioned that children should not use them without parental supervision and education on the potential side effects. Seriously?! That’s it!!? I have heard about parents pushing energy drinks on their children prior to sporting events. I don’t think that parental approval is a reasonable measure. How do they expect parents to be appropriately educated regarding the risks? Especially when their own statement primarily extolls the virtues of energy drinks.
I’m extremely disappointed by this statement. The ISSN is a respected organization and they wasted a valuable opportunity to take a stand against the use of energy drinks. At a minimum, I think that energy drinks should be regulated like cigarettes and should only be available to people when they’re at least 18 years of age.