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Meet Alex a 19 year old college student balancing school and the pressures to succeed. Alex says it gets pretty stressful at times much harder than high school you find yourself studying a lot harder and up a lot later so it takes a lot of energy and you need to find time for sleep. She is one of a growing number of teens turning to energy drinks to give her a boost. But the effects these drinks have on teens are short lived and over time, can be dangerous. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating five deaths related to Monster drinks. These energy drinks contain a substantial amount of caffeine, sugar and other ingredients that can lead to serious side effects including increased or irregular heartbeat, seizures and even death. Under full medical supervision, Alex was willing to allow us to show her just what happens to her body when she drinks one of these. We took her blood pressure before she consumed her energy drink. She was a bit nervous and her blood pressure was 124 over 78. Her pulse was 72. Alex drank half a can and her blood pressure went up to 137 over 112 with her pulse at 84. This is considered high blood pressure and if persistent, Alex would be placed on medication. Alex told me she felt shaky and that the effects were getting worse. With an increase in blood pressure and pulse, Alex's hands were twitching and she noted that her legs tingled. Alex finished the entire can and after 1 hour, felt like her body was crashing. Just listen. I feel really tired sluggish my thoughts are really slow drink another one and it can over work your body". The best ways to boost your child's energy level? Get more sleep, add protein to their diet and cut back on the caffeine and sugary drinks that put them on an energy roller coaster. Read the labels: these energy drinks are a potential time bomb in a can.I'm Dr. Sue with The Kid's Doctor helping parents take charge.
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