Sugar trap energy drinks: A can can contain up to 13 sugar cubes

The consumer organization Foodwatch has tested 600 "soft drinks" for sugar content and sweeteners. It was found that more than every second product is too sugary. (Image: airborne77 / fotolia.com)

Health hazard: some energy drinks contain 13 sugar cubes per can
Energy drinks have enjoyed unbroken popularity for years. The promised “energy kick” is due to the ingredients caffeine and sugar. Some products contain significantly more of this than consumers think.

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High sugar consumption is a health hazard
Health experts warn again and again: Avoid consuming too much sugar. If consumed frequently, the sweetener can lead to enormous health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes. A lot of sugar is absorbed through sweet lemonades. Such soft drinks are often the cause of obesity. They also damage your teeth. Energy drinks also contain large amounts of sugar. All the more it should be ensured that children in particular keep their hands off it.

Energy drinks often contain much more sugar than consumers suspect. A small can can contain up to 40 grams. This amount corresponds to more than 13 sugar cubes. (Image: airborne77 / fotolia.com)
Considerable amounts of sugar
“Energy drinks contain considerable amounts of sugar,” writes the Bavarian Consumer Service on its website. "This provides energy in the form of calories."

According to the experts, some cans contain up to 16 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters. Extrapolated to a small 250 milliliter can, that's 40 grams of sugar, which corresponds to more than 13 sugar cubes.

“The sweet taste is probably also the reason why children already like to drink energy drinks. The sugar covers the bitter taste of the caffeine, ”says the consumer service.

There are also energy drinks in which the sugar is replaced by a sweetener. Although these do not damage the teeth and they do not directly lead to obesity, they should still not be eaten often. A high consumption can lead to gastrointestinal problems and an increased hunger for sweets.

Children should not consume beverages containing caffeine
Another problem is the high proportion of stimulating substances in energy drinks. Caffeine in moderate doses can increase the ability to concentrate, counteract tiredness and increase physical performance.

But with excessive caffeine intake, side effects such as nervousness, increased excitability, sweating, palpitations or insomnia can occur.

In addition, such drinks can pose a risk to the heart.

"Caffeinated drinks are therefore generally not suitable for children, this is especially true for restless children with impaired attention anyway," writes the consumer service.

Energy drinks are popular in all age groups
But energy drinks are popular in all age groups - including adolescents.

In 2013, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published data on the consumption of energy drinks in the European population, which showed that 13 percent of children (3-10 years) in Germany drank energy drinks at least once a year.

According to this, around 60 percent of German adolescents (10-18 years) consumed such drinks, and around 30 percent of adults (18-65 years). (ad)

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