In this next installment of the Domestica Sugar Series, we’re going to discuss the effect sugar and caffeine have together.
A toddler’s twenty-pound body is doing it’s best to grow and develop and we’d have to be completely ignorant to think that the influence of 25 milligrams of caffeine and 6 teaspoons of sugar in just eight ounces of soda is a wise decision (and by the way, there’s even more caffeine if they’re drinking diet).
What would someone do if they saw me order a shot of espresso, pour six sugar packets in and then hand it to my toddler? Hopefully call child services! And yet many of us don’t hesitate to order our kids the “child’s size” soda that packs nearly the same amount of caffeine and sugar.
In her wildly acclaimed book Little Sugar Addicts, Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons points out that not only is caffeine a drug, it “contributes to sleep disturbances by blocking a brain chemical called GABA that is responsible for putting your brain to sleep. It is as if GABA has the job singing you a lullaby, and caffeine comes busting into the room and flips on the radio to hard rock.” Caffeine also affects a child’s urinary continence, making them more prone to wet the bed, and worst of all, causes an increase in serotonin receptors which affects your child’s impulse controls, making it harder for them to control their bodies and actions.
Dr. DesMaisons also quotes a study by German researcher Peter Witt. In 1984, Witt studied the effect of various drugs on spiders and found that caffeine drastically impacted the spider’s ability to form a web in the same way as LSD and amphetamine.¹ As you can see from the photos below, the spider on caffeine is spastic and disjointed.
We need to understand that the small body of a child handles sugar far differently than a larger adult. And in the example of soda, the super-concentrated hit of sugar and drug (caffeine) dishes out a double-whammy. Even if your child acts like an angel after having soda, it’s important to understand that their brain is affected and ultimately, soda can hinder their ability to learn, process, and develop. Tell me, is there really any reason to give a child a cup full of sugar, caffeine and artificial colorings? I mean, an honest-to-god good reason?
But while I’m at it — is there any good reason for any of us to drink this stuff? The soda company takes your money and all you get in return are empty calories and toxic stress on your internal organs. Sounds to me like you’re getting seriously ripped off.
Next in the Domestica Sugar Series, I’ll bring you a video blog and we’ll discuss how you should go about kicking the soda habit for good!