The SUNY Youth Sports Institute will package evidence-based findings into one easy-to-understand, comprehensive program and make it available to medical practitioners, parents, educators, young athletes, and youth sports coaches, according to Timothy Donovan, Executive Director, SUNY Youth Sports Institute.
“At a recent count there were nearly 500 energy drink brands. Classified as supplements and aggressively marketed, they have a special allure with young people. This causes confusion with adults who are trying to provide smart choices to their children and to the children they coach or teach. Little is known about the contents of each container, yet their brand names and marketing are synonymous with fun, adding to the confusion. The literature is showing that as stand-alone products or mixed with other substances, these drinks need to be understood by parents and caregivers,” Donovan said.
It is the mission of the SUNY Youth Sports Institute to identify and share evidence-based knowledge on best practices to help children in their most formative athletic experiences. This helps them develop positive and healthy relationships within their youth sports community. By exploring this new beverage category for its effects on our youngest population we are helping to fulfill that mission,” said Donovan.
Top experts in their respective fields will discuss the chemical makeup of these energy drinks, potential health risks, their physical and psychological effects on kids and what happens when energy drinks are mixed with alcohol and other stimulants. SUNY Youth Sports Institute and experts in psychiatry, substance abuse, toxicology, kinesiology, clinical psychology, and sports medicine will be making presentations.
Those presenting include: Mary Claire O’Brien, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Department of Public Health Services, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC. Dr. O’Brien’s recent work explores the consumption of alcohol mixed with energy drinks, and the association of this behavior with serious alcohol-related consequences, including injury, sexual assault, and riding with a drunken driver.
“Drinking energy drinks mixed with alcohol just doesn’t make sense. If someone told me that I had greatly increased odds of being taken advantage of sexually or riding with a drunk driver, just by drinking an energy drink with my alcohol, I’d think twice about the energy drink. It’s just not worth it,” said Dr. O’Brien.
Other panelists include: Chad Reissig, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Dr. Reissig’s work has focused on a variety of psychoactive drugs including caffeine and caffeinated energy drinks. He was the senior author on the recent publication titled “Caffeinated Energy Drinks – A Growing Problem.”
Kathleen Miller, PhD, Research Scientist, Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. Dr. Miller focuses on the gender-specific relationships among problem behaviors and athletic involvement, with particular attention to “toxic jock” identity. Her current research focuses on the understudied links between energy drink consumption and risk-taking.
Amelia Arria, PhD, is Senior Scientist, Treatment Research Institute, Philadelphia, PA, Associate Director, Center for Substance Abuse Research, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. One of Dr. Arria’s primary research interests is to understand the antecedents and consequences of adolescent and young adult health-risk behaviors.
Other noted participants are from recognized institutions like New York Presbyterian Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, the State University of New York, the University of Maryland, Drexel University, and the NCAA. A full list of panelists is attached.
About SUNY Youth Sports: The SUNY Youth Sports Institute training network is called Youth Sports NY. It works with 29 SUNY Community Colleges and 50 high level coaches as trainers. Since March 2008 the program has trained over 2,000 non-school volunteer youth coaches in New York State to a common minimum coaching standard.
Peter Salgo, MD
Associate Director, Open Heart ICU at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY
Chad Reissig, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Kathleen Miller, PhD
Research Scientist, Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Isabel Burk, MS
Director of The Health Network, New York, NY
Jeanna M. Marraffa, PharmD
Clinical Toxicologist, Upstate New York Poison Center, Assistant Professor, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY
Phil Buckenmeyer, PhD
Chair, Department of Kinesiology, SUNY Cortland, Cortland, NY
Mary Claire O’Brien, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Department of Public Health Services,
Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Eric Small, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, and Rehabilitation Medicine, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York, NY
Mitchell Schare, PhD
Program Director, Department of Clinical Psychology, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Mary E. Wilfert, MEd
Associate Director of Health and Safety, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, IN
Bruce Goldberger, PhD
Professor and Director of Toxicology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL
Amelia Arria, PhD
Senior Scientist, Treatment Research Institute, Philadelphia, PA Associate Director, Center for Substance Abuse Research, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Christina Calamaro, PhD, CRNP
Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA