Virginia High School League wants energy drinks banned

By Joe Sullivan- bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Energy drinks are popular right now, but they may soon be off-limits for young athletes. The Virginia High School League plans to recommend to its executive committee that the drinks be banned.

High school athletes use energy drinks for a boost the high amount of caffeine may deliver. The recommendation to ban energy drinks will be made in August.

The Virginia High School League is taking aim at drinks such as Red Bull, Amp and Monster. What's the problem with energy drinks? The Virginia High School League is concerned that the growing consumption may be unsafe for adolescent athletes. Drinks such as Red Bull are being used for fluid replacement instead of water.

"We are talking about energy drinks vs. fluid replacement drinks. We are finding that the amount of caffeine in energy drinks is sometimes 10 to 40 times that what is in a soda," said VHSL Director of Athletics Tom Dolan.

Caffeine acts as a diuretic when the body is at rest thus inhibiting the body's ability to re-hydrate after exercise. The Virginia High School League wants athletes to use water or sports drinks such as Gatorade.

"We are seeing people become more dehydrated by using these. Short term effects create long term effects with other types of medications they may be taking and create some really dangerous levels of heart rate," Dolan said.

A decision whether to ban energy drinks for high school athletes in our state could come as soon as September.

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