Grade: all
Subject: Health

#4637. Sub Plans for Any Teacher: Dangers of Energy Drinks

Health, level: all
Posted Sat Oct 6 21:01:22 PDT 2012 by AHealthTeacher (AHealthTeacher).
The Best Health Lessons
High School, Seattle, WA USA
Materials Required: Worksheet
Activity Time: 1-2 days
Concepts Taught: The dangers of caffeine and sugar in drinks

These sub plans are intended to make it easy for you on the days you have a sub, to provide an easy day for your sub since students will be working independently on each of these lessons and will need very little teacher instruction, and to help your students learn about relevant topics, even while you're not there! Everything needed except a few art supplies is included.

No videos, no computers, no textbooks are needed!

This lesson is on the dangers of caffeine and sugar in 5 different drinks: energy drinks, energy shots, soda pop, coffee, and tea.

This lesson starts with this "How Healthy are you Eating?" Survey:

How Healthy Are You Eating?
To find out, take this True/ False quiz: (if it's more than 50% true, say "True")

_____1. I eat red meats (hamburger/steak/ham/pork) 3 times a week or less.
_____2. I limit my fast food meals to one per week or less.
_____3. I drink less than 24 ounces of pop per day.
_____4. I eat 7 or less eggs per week.
_____5. I sometimes have days where I don't eat meat.
_____6. I bake or broil or BBQ my meats rather than fry them (if you don't eat meat, say True)
_____7. I usually have at least one serving (1/2 cup) of fruit or fruit juice per day.
_____8. I have at least one serving (1/2 cup) of vegetables per day.
_____9. I limit my sweets to 75 calories per day or less (including sugar in pop!)
_____10. I steam my vegetables rather than frying them in fat or butter and I don't add butter!
_____11. I usually have between four and eight servings of carbohydrates (1 serving is 1slice of bread, a handful of crackers, cup of cereal)
_____12. I eat whole wheat breads, rather than white bread.
_____13. I read food labels to see what's in the foods I'm eating.
_____14. I exercise for at least 30 minutes at least 3 times a week.
_____15. I usually have brown rice rather than white rice.
_____16. I usually have from three to seven servings of protein and dairy per day.
_____17. I sometimes substitute fresh fruit for a sweet dessert.
_____18. I drink 2% milk or lower.
_____19. I drink at least 32 ounces of water per day.
_____20. I usually have 3 teaspoons or less of butter or margarine per day.
_____21. I am within my weight range on the Nutrition packet cover.
_____22. I usually don't shake salt on my food.
_____23. I try to avoid foods high in sugar and use sugar sparingly.
_____24. I drink less than 24 ounces of drinks with caffeine in them per day.
_____25. I almost always eat breakfast.

_________ TOTAL UP ALL YOUR "True" answers

Here is what your score means: Circle what you got:
24 -- 25 Excellent nutrition
19 -- 23 Good nutrition
14 -- 18 Fair nutrition
9 -- 13 Poor nutrition

Look back on any "False" answers you have and set 1 nutrition goal for yourself:

I will . . .


Best Tips for Losing Weight and Eating Healthy:
1. Remember, it's a lifestyle, not a diet (however you choose to lose weight, do need to be able to do that for life to keep the weight off!)
2. To lose weight eat smaller portions!!!
3. Eat breakfast
4. Limit white products like sugar + white flour (eat whole wheat)
5. Limit saturated and Trans FAT and fast foods
6. Get plenty of exercise
7. Get plenty of water
8. Take a daily vitamin and mineral pill (including calcium)

To lose weight: E A T L E S S + E X E R C I S E M O R E !!!

To eat healthy: follow the Mayo Clinic Food Pyramid:
-limit sweets to 75 calories per day
-eat unsaturated fats like olive oil and canola oil
-eat protein and dairy: 3-7
-eat mostly whole wheat carbohydrates: 4-8
-eat fruits: at least 3 to unlimited
-eat vegetables: at least 4 to unlimited

I will cut and paste the Energy Drinks Worksheet here, but..

This complete lesson is FREE!! in a way better format at:


Name(s): _____________________________________________________ Date:_______
Energy Drinks Worksheet
Resources Used:

1. Using the "Caffeine and Sugar in Drinks Resource Sheets" find the 5 drinks that have the most caffeine in each of the category.

Although it's interesting to see how many milligrams are in individual products, since the containers may be different sizes, you'll need to use the far right column that lists milligrams of caffeine per ounce for your data. Record your findings on the blank table below.

2. Now, using the "Caffeine and Sugar in Drinks Resource Sheets" find the 5 drinks that have the most sugar in each of the category. Again, you'll need to use the far right column that lists grams of sugar per ounce for your data.

Also be aware that where the sugar level is zero -- the product is most likely sweetened with an artificial sweetener (such as aspartame or Splenda). And, even though some drinks like juices may count as a fruit serving and are healthier than soda pop, they still have a high content of sugar.

3. Be sure to read the "Reflection Section" and follow the directions there to write one goal.

Column 1: Product/Category Name
of the 5 that have the highest amount of Caffeine?

List mg in far right column "mg/floz)

Column 2: Mg. of Caffeine:

Column 3: Product/Category Name
of the 5 that have the highest amount of Sugar?

List mg in far right column "g/floz) Grams of Sugar:

Energy Drinks Name: Mg. Energy Drinks Name: Gram:

1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.
5. 5.

Energy Shots Name: Mg. Energy Shots Name: Grams
1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.
5. 5.

Soda Pop Name: Mg. Soda Pop Name: Grams
1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.
5. 5.

Coffee Name: Mg. Coffee Name: Grams
1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.
5. 5.

Tea Name: Mg. Tea Name: Grams
1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.
5. 5.



How Do the Drinks You Like Compare?
(look up 3 drinks you like):

List the Caffeine in each of the drinks you like
(use far right column "mg/floz)


List the sugar in each of the drinks you like:
(use far right column "g/floz)


1. So what's the big deal about too much caffeine?

1. Pediatrician Roy Benaroch, MD, weighs in: "There are worse habits that teenagers could have," he points out. The big risks, he says, are jitteriness, insomnia, weight gain from extra calories, and cavities from the sugar.

But he notes that besides sugar and caffeine, energy drinks often have multiple other ingredients with unclear biologic effects. It's always a good idea for parents to know exactly what's in the beverages their kids are drinking, so read the labels carefully.

In addition, it's important to be familiar with the signs of caffeine toxicity, which include insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, fast heartbeat, and/or muscle tremors, since between 2006 and 2008, 1,200 cases of caffeine toxicity among kids younger than 6 years old were reported to poison control centers.

2. Caffeine is a stimulant to the central nervous system, and regular use of caffeine does cause mild physical dependence. Although caffeine doesn't threaten your physical, social, or economic health the way addictive drugs do (after seeing your monthly spending at the coffee shop, you might disagree!) but caffeine does have some dangers to be aware of:

-Symptoms of withdrawal from caffeine include: headache, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating. Caffeine does not cause the severity of withdrawal or harmful drug-seeking behaviors as street drugs or alcohol, so most experts don't consider caffeine dependence a serious addiction.

-Consuming caffeine later in the day, can interfere with sleep. If you're like most people, your sleep won't be affected if you don't consume caffeine at least six hours before going to bed.

-Caffeine can cause nervousness and gastrointestinal upset.

-Caffeine can cause the bone disease Osteoporosis. At high levels (more than 744
milligrams/day), caffeine may increase calcium and magnesium loss in urine. You can offset the calcium lost from drinking one cup of coffee by adding milk to your diet. . .research shows links between caffeine and hip fracture risk in older adults.

-Caffeine can cause Cardiovascular disease. A slight, temporary rise in heart rate and blood pressure is common in those who are sensitive to caffeine. If you already have high blood pressure, have a discussion with your doctor about your caffeine intake.

2. So what's the big deal about too much sugar?

1. The single largest source of calories for Americans comes from sugar--specifically high fructose corn syrup. Just take a look at the sugar consumption trends of the past 300 years:
In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year.
In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.

In 2009, more than 50 percent of all Americans consume one-half pound of sugar PER DAY--translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year!

2. Too much sugar causes weight gain: Today, 32 percent of Americans are obese and an additional one-third are overweight. Not only don't you feel as good about how you look, but read on to see the dangers of being overweight:

3. If your body can't use all the sugar you eat, guess what it stores it as: FAT!!! Carrying excess weight increases your risk for deadly conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes.
4. Too much sugar causes diabetes: In 1893, there were fewer than three cases of diabetes per 100,000 people in the United States. Today, diabetes strikes almost 8,000 out of every 100,000 people.

5. The more sugar you eat, the more effective your body is in absorbing it; and the more you absorb, the more damage you'll do. Research tells us that even two weeks without consuming sugar will cause your body to be less reactive to it. Try it for yourself! Take a two-week sugar sabbatical and see how different you feel.

Set one goal for yourself about either limiting caffeine or sugar. Use a specific number in your goal, such as the number of cups, # of cans, # of days per week you'll allow yourself a dessert, etc. (If you already have healthy habits in regards to caffeine and sugar, your goal can be to "continue" and just say what you are doing right.)


You can have your students look up the caffeine and sugar amounts in drinks in the "Energy Fiend" websites listed above, but in my FREE lesson I have cut and pasted them into the worksheet so you can do this activity right in your classroom!

It's at:


1. You might be interested in my set of 6 sub lessons packaged together and for sale at:

2. You might also be interested in my 3-Week Nutrition unit for sale at:

3. You might also be interested in my whole semester Health curriculum at:

4. And lastly, you should check out my Health Lessons webpage where I have free tips, surveys, and articles new every month, free lessons, and much more.