GFuel is a brand of energy drink popular among the gaming and fitness communities. With big-name sponsors like Pewdipie and Logic, whose online platforms reach millions, GFuel products are heavily marketed.
While their website outlines that those under the age of 18 shouldn’t consume the product, their online sponsorships push adverts out to people of all ages.
Can kids drink GFuel? GFuel is not recommended for those under 18 due to its high caffeine content. Consuming caffeinated products while underage is known to cause negative side effects such as sleep disruptions, nervousness, and tremors. Long-term excessive use has been linked to severe heart issues and anxiety.
Since these energy drinks are becoming a popular choice for those between the ages of 13-18, here’s what you need to know about your child and GFuel.
GFuel and Kids – What To Know
Setting standards and expectations regarding your child’s nutritional consumption is important for their overall well-being.
Determining how energy drinks, like GFuel, fit into their diet can be a multi-faceted and often conflicting conversation.
What Is GFuel?
GFuel is a clean energy brand that is designed to increase energy, endurance, and focus. GFuel sells canned energy drinks, a powdered energy formula, a powdered hydration formula, and energy crystals.
All product lines were designed to be healthier alternatives to traditional energy-boosting supplements.
Is GFuel Healthy?
GFuel is a healthier alternative to competing energy supplements as it includes zero sugars and is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
None of the ingredients in GFuel pose a significant health risk when consumed in moderate quantities. When used moderately by individuals over 18 with no underlying medical conditions, GFuel is safe and healthy.
GFuel products contain zero fats and sugars, low carb levels, and a low overall caloric value. However, many additional ingredients need to be reviewed to have a complete nutrition scope.
Artificial Sweeteners, Colors, and Preservatives
- Silicon Dioxide: An artificial preservative made from a natural compound to prevent clumping. Generally safe when consumed moderately.
- Citric Acid: An artificial preservative used for its acidity, flavor enhancement, and preservative properties. Since manufactured citric acid is produced from mold, it is a known allergen.
- Red, Yellow, and Blue Dyes: Artificial coloring from petroleum-derived substances. Artificial dyes may cause hyperactivity in children.
- Sucralose: An artificial sweetener that poses an increased health risk to those with insulin or thyroid issues.
- Maltodextrin: An additive made from corn, rice, potato starch, or wheat. GFuel is listed as a gluten-free product, so its Maltodextrin derivative is not wheat.
- Acesulfame Potassium: An artificial sweetener that has been linked to negative effects on good gut bacteria growth.
- Taurine: An essential amino acid that supports the brain, eyes, heart, and muscles.
- L-Citrulline Malate: An amino acid compound that improves oxygen delivery and delays muscle fatigue.
- Caffeine: A natural stimulant that is used to boost metabolism, improve mood, and increase focus.
- Glucuronolactone: A metabolite used primarily to combat fatigue and detoxify the liver.
- L-Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCL: A nutrient involved in energy production and the mobilization of fatty acids.
- Velvet Bean Seed Extracts: An L-Dopa herb that benefits the nervous system. Certain medications for mental health can be affected by this ingredient.
- L-Tyrosine: A nonessential amino acid that helps produce dopamine and epinephrine.
- N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine: A more water-soluble form of Tyrosine.
- Adenosine-5-Triphosphate Disodium Salt: An energy source for cells.
The antioxidant complex is derived from the following fruit powders:
- Grape Seed
- Sour Cherry
- Pyrus Communis
How Much Caffeine Is in GFuel?
GFuel’s product lines contain varying amounts of caffeine. From lowest to highest, here’s the list:
- GFuel Hydration Formula flavors are caffeine free.
- GFuel Energy Crystal flavors have 60 mg of caffeine.
- GFuel Energy Formula flavors have 140 mg of caffeine.
- GFuel Energy Drink flavors have 300 mg of caffeine.
Effects of Caffeine on Children
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 12-18 intake no more than 100 mg of caffeine per day.
For those under the age of 12, the AAP recommends no additional intake of caffeine outside of what naturally occurs in their daily diet.
Excess caffeine can cause the following side effects in children:
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Accelerated heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Digestive and urinary issues
Caffeine is particularly dangerous to those who suffer from heart, nervous system, or mental health issues.
Long-term excessive caffeine use can cause irregular heartbeat, heart failure, anxiety, and addiction to the substance.
How Much Lead Is in GFuel?
GFuel does contain trace amounts of lead due to its plant-based ingredients. Traces of lead occur naturally in the soil, so products that contain fruits and vegetables are likely to have a presence of lead.
The state of California sued GFuel for not having a warning label about the lead content of their products.
While the exact quantity of lead in GFuel is unknown, California’s intake regulations require reporting if the lead content is over 0.5mg.
GFuel’s products are likely within safe lead limits as there was no recall and a small settlement amount was paid.
GFuel Side Effects
While GFuel claims to have no side effects, this statement could potentially be false.
Drinks with high-caffeine concentrations can have varying negative effects depending on the size, age, and body composition.
Is GFuel for Kids?
GFuel was not created to be marketed to or consumed by children under the age of 18. Both the brand and its sponsors are adamant about making this information known to consumers.
Energy Drink Age Limit
The Food and Drug Administration has not established a safe limit on caffeine for children and adolescents.
However, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control have collaboratively established that energy drinks should not be included in a minor’s diet.
Due to these recommendations, many energy drink companies have placed warnings on their products regarding underage consumption.
Though these warnings are non-enforceable, they serve to educate parents about the risks posed by their products.
Sports Drinks vs. Energy Drinks
Sports drinks and energy drinks are made with ingredients that propagate different responses in the body.
Sports drinks are made with carbohydrates and electrolytes, which serve to fuel and hydrate, whereas energy drinks are made with stimulants that create a central nervous response.
A clinical study by the American Academy of Pediatrics reasoned that sports drinks may be beneficial to young athletes frequently participating in high-intensity activity in addition to water due to its restorative properties.
The same study outlines that energy drinks have no health benefits to children or adolescents.
In both cases, the presence of high sugar content, dyes, and additives can increase the risk of dental erosion, weight gain, and other health problems.
Kid-Friendly Energy Drinks
If you’re looking for alternatives to GFuel and other stimulant-based drinks, try these kid-friendly options:
- Fruit, veggie, or herb-infused Water
- Coconut water
- Plant or nut-based milk
- 100% fruit juice
Can 10-year-olds Drink Coffee?
While a 10-year-old can drink coffee, it’s recommended that they don’t. Coffee, despite its beneficial properties, has high caffeine content. Excessive doses of caffeine in children have been linked to several negative side effects.
Are Energy Drinks Better Than Coffee?
No! While they may have similar caffeine content, coffee contains natural antioxidants as opposed to the artificial ingredients in energy drinks.
Moderate consumption of black coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes, kidney and heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
GFuel and other energy drinks are not recommended for children and adolescents. These products contain stimulants, dyes, and additives that can pose significant health risks if used in excess.
Try to guide your children toward healthier energy-boosting alternatives containing electrolytes and naturally derived carbohydrates.
Charley is a mother of three with a passion for raising good humans. With her children in tow, she studies English and has made a career creating content about motherhood. In her free time, she enjoys traveling within the states to kayak, camp, and hike.