The USA Swimming Sports Medicine and Science Committee has recently reviewed the risks and benefits related to energy drinks, and concludes that children and teens should avoid them. “Sports drinks” like Gatorade are OK, meaning drinks containing a small amount of carbohydrates, minerals, electrolytes and flavorings, designed to replace those nutrients lost through sweating after exercise.But energy drinks containing stimulants like caffeine, guarana, yerba mate and taurine should be avoided, as for instance excess consumption of caffeine is associated with agitation, anxiety, poor sleep, rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure and altered mental states, and can mask fatigue.
Too much caffeine can mask fatigue. Gauging fatigue is important to staying fit, healthy and in the pool. If jacked up on caffeine, swimmers may miss the body’s signal for rest.