Ninety percent of adults consume caffeine, but does that mean it's safe for kids?
U.S. energy drinks sales topped $20 billion in the last year alone. Influencers entice kids to give it a try, saying it'll give them an edge in athletics and academics. But many don't realize the dangerous downside.
"You know, the kids get sucked into the packaging," said Leslie Suder of Beverly Hills.
Energy drinks come in brightly colored cans with sweet, fruity flavors. Suder, who is a mom and soccer coach, never buys them. But one day, her 16-year-old twin daughters Zoe and Zanny brought one home.
"And I asked why are your friends drinking this? And they said 'Yeah, to stay up and study.'"
"We see them drinking them at school in the mornings," Zoe Suder said.
As athletes, the sisters sometimes see the drinks on the soccer field. Their mom warned them about the dangers of caffeine, but Zoe and Zanny admit the drinks look enticing.
"Because they might taste good, the taste of it," said Zanny Suder.
"They're everywhere. I think in the last 5 to 10 years, they've really exploded," said Dr. Michael Garcia who specializes in Clinical Nutrition at UCLA Health. So how much caffeine should a child under 12 consume?
"That's actually zero for children," said Garcia.
What about those 12 to 18 years old? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 100 milligrams per day.
"In no way is that a recommendation to consume up to that amount," he said..
Many popular energy drinks contain anywhere from 150 to 300 milligrams of caffeine per can. And many adolescents often drink more than one. A practice that can bring on a number of potential health risks.
"Things like increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms," said Garcia.
Not every teen may experience this, but doctors say long term use can bring on a vicious cycle of unhealthy behaviors.
"Reduced mood, difficulty, sleeping, lower energy and difficulty with concentration," he said.
Garcia said the best way to get sustained energy is through proper sleep and nutrition. Zoe and Zanny prefer to opt for healthier choices.
"There are alternatives like juices, just a lot of water, healthy juices, smoothies, and protein shakes. You can try these instead of having an energy drink," they both said.