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Caffeinated Iced Tea
If you are a parent, you are not likely to give your child coffee. Instead, you supply him with tea, an energy drink, or a soft drink. It sounds healthier to give your child iced tea; in fact, there is a very high likelihood that you do. It might come as a shock to you that ice tea has a caffeine content that is as high as the caffeine content in a soft drink. In addition, this amount of caffeine is only second to the quantity of caffeine in coffee.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can affect children as well as adults. It is a naturally produced drug, occurring frequently in the leaves and seeds of a large variety of plants. It can also be manufactured artificially. It makes a person feel more energetic by stimulating his or her nervous system.
When you give your child iced tea as a "healthy substitute" for cola, you could actually be contributing just as terribly to his or her caffeine addiction. In excess, caffeine causes nervousness, headaches, wakefulness, an inability to concentrate, and a number of physiological increases in heart rate and blood pressure. Caffeine levels in iced tea have been found to produce these effects in fully-grown adults. In young children, the effects could be a lot worse, and a lot more long turn. It doesn't require caffeine levels that are as high to cause these effects.
Children who drink at least one soft drink every time are 60% more probably to be obese. They it can be said of iced tea, as both have equal amounts of caffeine. Caffeinated iced tea contains calories that are of no nutritional value, and when children drink them in large amounts, they are deprived of healthy vitamins and minerals. Calcium deficiency develops, and children have significantly weaker bones and teeth. Sweetening in highly caffeinated drinks causes dental cavities. As caffeinated iced tea has the second highest caffeine content of any drink, after coffee, the risk of spending more time at the dentist's than is required is very high. There are 10 teaspoons of sugar, at minimum, in every can of iced tea.
Finally, the diuretic effects of caffeine can lead to severe dehydration. It is unknown whether the caffeine causes dehydration as well, but it does cause frequent urination, which leads to water loss in the body. On a hot summer's day, a diuretic is a bad idea for children, who will lose enough water through perspiration alone. The next time your child asks for a cold drink on a hot day, hand him or her fresh fruit juice, or the healthiest drink in the world - good, plain water.