Childhood Diseases

Posted by: BMJ | 2012/05/02


I am nervous to ask

Dear Doc

I am nervous to even post this... I am a responsible mom and I dont give into my children''s every whim..

However, my 10y old son asked me to buy him an energy drink like red bull or monster. We dont drink them purely because I consider them unhealthy and unnecessary. He has this great curiosity to see what it will taste like. I have explained to him what is in those drinks and why it is not suitable for children (or adults).

I did wonder if I am making this into the classic ''forbidden fruit'' that he will drink the moment he is somewhere else. (He does have friends whose parents allow their kids to drink them).

I want to buy one of them and give him a little bit to taste so he can see it taste just like most other fizzy drinks -except that they are actually harmful.

What do you think?

Expert's Reply



You are quite right. Energy drinks such as Red Bull contain high quantities of caffeine, about 80mg per can.This is equivalent to a very strong cup of coffee. They also contain high sugar levels. These drinks are not suitable for children. Just be firm about your refusal to allow your son to drink this type of drink.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: mom | 2012/05/11

I agree that it is bad, but i also think that by saying no, you will make him want it even more.
My son is 6 and my husband bought a red bull once on a long drive to cape town. My son also wanted to taste it. I explained to him that daddy is drinking it to stay awake and that it is not a drink for adults, as it is more like alcohol than cool drink. I then gave him one sip. Once he tasted it and realised it wasnt really something special he never mentioned it again. He was also curious about beer and my husband gave him one sip then he said it doesnt even taste nice. But now he knows and his curiosity is satisfied.

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