Last summer, pediatric nutritionist Laura Cordero found herself investigating a mystery. High school football players practicing for the coming season were battling dehydration and muscle cramps like never before. The weather was hot and these teens were sweating, but that was nothing new. What had changed?
Talking to coaches and players, the Allegheny Health Network nutritionist and dietician discovered the problem: “Energy” drinks have become increasingly popular among teens — and more available than ever.
Monster. Rock Star. Ghost. Reign. Bang. Red Bull. These high-caffeine beverages, many with brightly colored packaging and co-branded, kid-friendly flavors like Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids, take up a growing swath of refrigerator-case real estate at convenience stores across the region.