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Teachers' concerns over energy drinks and children

By Neil Lancefield

Published 06/04/2015

Energy drinks are readily available 'legal highs' that can impact negatively on pupils' behaviour in schools, it has been claimed. Picture posed
Energy drinks are readily available 'legal highs' that can impact negatively on pupils' behaviour in schools, it has been claimed. Picture posed

Energy drinks are readily available 'legal highs' that can impact negatively on pupils' behaviour in schools, it has been claimed.

Teachers have reported increasing concerns about the effect on behaviour, concentration and energy levels as a result of the drinks, which contain high levels of caffeine and sugar.

A survey of teachers in one teaching union found 13% of respondents cited caffeine and energy drinks as a cause of poor pupil behaviour. NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said many young people and parents are not aware of the very high levels of stimulants the drinks contain.

"They are readily available legal highs. Teachers are reporting that this affects concentration in class and hyperactivity is then followed by the inevitable crash later in the school day when the impact of these drinks wears off," he said.

It is recommended that children should consume no more than 200mg of caffeine per day. Some 500ml cans of popular energy drinks contain 144-160mg.

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