Breaking News
February 18, 2018 - A Role for Budesonide in Autoimmune Hepatitis?
February 18, 2018 - Lupus patients exhibit altered cell proteins, a discovery with potential implications for diagnostics
February 18, 2018 - Muscle plays vital role in regulating heat loss from the hands
February 18, 2018 - High-tech brain scans can provide new way to define intelligence
February 18, 2018 - Study reveals the association between ultra-processed foods and cancer
February 18, 2018 - Prescription Opioid Use Tied to Higher Pneumonia Risk
February 18, 2018 - A non-invasive method to detect Alzheimer’s disease
February 18, 2018 - Deletion of specific enzyme leads to improvement in memory and cognitive functions
February 18, 2018 - Amyloid protein may be transmitted through neurosurgical instruments, study suggests
February 18, 2018 - Electric brain signals of males and females show differences
February 18, 2018 - American Heart Association commends McDonald’s for offering healthier menu in kids’ meals
February 18, 2018 - Parents Find Kids’ Weight Report Cards Hard to Swallow
February 18, 2018 - Does a Financial Conflict of Interest Ever Expire?
February 18, 2018 - Exercise can improve Alzheimer’s symptoms
February 18, 2018 - Scientists develop green chemistry method to improve pharmaceutical manufacturing efficiency
February 17, 2018 - ‘A Time Clock to a Tissue Clock’ for Acute Stroke Care
February 17, 2018 - Cancer Care Gets Personal | NIH News in Health
February 17, 2018 - Do more youth use or do youth use more?
February 17, 2018 - Eating faster linked to obesity
February 17, 2018 - Who’s Still Smoking? ACS Report Highlights Most Vulnerable Adults
February 17, 2018 - Study of smoking and genetics illuminates complexities of blood pressure
February 17, 2018 - Study reveals new link between bone cells and blood glucose level
February 17, 2018 - Children with reading challenges may have lower than expected binocular vision test results
February 17, 2018 - Mass Shootings Trigger Change for Emergency Medicine
February 17, 2018 - ECMO helps revive woman thought to be drowned
February 17, 2018 - Learning stress-reducing techniques may benefit people with epilepsy
February 17, 2018 - Shedding Pounds Before Weight-Loss Surgery a Smart Move
February 17, 2018 - FDA Approves New Cystic Fibrosis Drug Combo
February 17, 2018 - Augmented Reality helps surgeons to ‘see through’ tissue and reconnect blood vessels
February 17, 2018 - Emotional state affects operation of the entire brain instead of being restricted to specific regions
February 17, 2018 - Apalutamide Slows Metastasis in Prostate Cancer
February 17, 2018 - Kids’ well visits linked to lower appendicitis complications
February 17, 2018 - New NK cell-based immunotherapy effective against several types of leukemia
February 17, 2018 - Producing Super-Swelled Lyotropic Crystals for Drug Development
February 17, 2018 - Pfizer Receives Breakthrough Therapy Designation from FDA for PF-04965842, an oral JAK1 Inhibitor, for the Treatment of Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Atopic Dermatitis
February 17, 2018 - Molecular Imaging Flags Risk of AAA Rupture
February 17, 2018 - Researchers identify risk factors for sleep apnea during pregnancy
February 17, 2018 - More work required to find the right drug dosage for pediatric patients
February 17, 2018 - Factors ID’d That Predict RA Remission with Etanercept
February 17, 2018 - A handout or a hand up? How we judge others guides how we help others
February 17, 2018 - ACR receives grant to focus on projects that reduce health disparities
February 17, 2018 - Pimavanserin Might Be Safer Alternative to Ease Dementia Psychosis
February 17, 2018 - Risks of Lung Screening Seen Outweighing Benefits in Many with Smoking History
February 17, 2018 - The impact of Hurricane Harvey on pregnant moms
February 17, 2018 - Gene editing tool used to detect cancer
February 17, 2018 - Researchers detail molecular atlas of cells that form brain’s blood vessels
February 17, 2018 - TUM scientists observe formation of myelin sheaths around nerve fibers
February 17, 2018 - Worst Flu Season Yet? | Medpage Today
February 17, 2018 - Finding the root cause of bronchiolitis symptoms
February 17, 2018 - Climbing stairs reduces hypertension and strengthens muscles
February 17, 2018 - Nature paper unveils bacterial division
February 16, 2018 - Postoperative pain control following extensive pelvic exenteration
February 16, 2018 - Daré Bioscience, Inc. Enters into License and Collaboration Agreement for a Product with the Potential to Receive the First FDA Approval for Female Sexual Arousal Disorder
February 16, 2018 - Havana Embassy Staff: ‘Concussion Without Concussion’?
February 16, 2018 - Family impact of congenital Zika syndrome likely to last a lifetime
February 16, 2018 - STI Prevention Helped By Also Discussing Pot, Alcohol Use
February 16, 2018 - New method maps the dopamine system in Parkinson’s patients
February 16, 2018 - Monitoring the Environment of Aseptic Processes
February 16, 2018 - Study finds decline in number of clinical trials funded by NIH
February 16, 2018 - Scientists show connection between sugar chains and bone growth
February 16, 2018 - Researchers develop new method for producing personalized medicine
February 16, 2018 - Women exposed to cleaning products suffer decreased lung function, Study finds
February 16, 2018 - Stem cell vaccine helps protect mice against numerous cancers
February 16, 2018 - Does Your Valentine Have a Roving Eye? Watch Out
February 16, 2018 - All Your MIPS Questions Answered — Sort Of
February 16, 2018 - Mitochondria may protect brain against Parkinson’s
February 16, 2018 - Key proteins could help in controlling the risk of osteoarthritis during aging, Study finds
February 16, 2018 - New review examines effectiveness of cupping therapy in athletes
February 16, 2018 - Resolving Interfacial Protein Dynamics by STReM
February 16, 2018 - Study provides new insights on why healthy children die from flu
February 16, 2018 - Self-sampling followed by HPV testing can benefit women at risk of cervical cancer
February 16, 2018 - Biomedical engineers grow living windpipe structures from self-assembled modules
February 16, 2018 - New device could allow people with disabilities to live more independently, enhance their quality of life
February 16, 2018 - Research identifies gene variants that play key role in how ovarian cancer patients process chemotherapy
February 16, 2018 - iMedicalApps: OB Wheels App Review
February 16, 2018 - To improve self-control, call weight loss what it is: Difficult
February 16, 2018 - Cervical tumors may be vulnerable to therapies that attack cancer’s fuel supply, study shows
February 16, 2018 - Allergan Announces Positive Top Line Phase 3 Results for Ubrogepant – an Oral CGRP Receptor Antagonist for the Acute Treatment of Migraine
February 16, 2018 - Morning Break: Hello Not-So-Fresh; One Eye, 14 Worms; Foreign Accent Syndrome
February 16, 2018 - New medical advances marking the end of a long reign for ‘diet wizards’
Serious health risks associated with energy drinks

Serious health risks associated with energy drinks

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new review of current scientific knowledge on energy drinks finds their advertised short-term benefits can be outweighed by serious health risks—which include risk-seeking behavior, mental health problems, increased blood pressure, obesity and kidney damage. The study, published in Frontiers in Public Health, also highlights the worrying trend of mixing energy drinks with alcohol. The authors recommend restricted sales to children and adolescents and setting evidence-based caffeine limits.

As energy drink consumption continues to grow worldwide, there is a need to thoroughly examine their advertised benefits, nutritional content and any negative effects on public health.

“We summarize the consequences of energy drink consumption, which include heart, kidney, and dental problems, as well as risk-seeking behavior and poor mental health,” says Dr. Josiemer Mattei, Assistant Professor of Nutrition based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, USA, who published this study along with a team of graduate researchers.

“The evidence suggests they are harmful to health and should be limited through more stringent regulation by restricting their sales to children and adolescents, as well as setting an evidence-based upper limit on the amount of caffeine.”

Most energy drinks consist of similar ingredients—water, sugar, caffeine, certain vitamins, minerals and non-nutritive stimulants such as guarana, taurine and ginseng. Some can contain up to 100 mg caffeine per fluid ounce, eight times more than a regular coffee at 12 mg. A moderate daily caffeine intake of up to 400 mg is recommended for adults, but little research exists on tolerable levels for adolescents and children.

“The energy drink industry has grown dramatically in the past 20 years, culminating in a nearly $10 billion per year industry in the United States. They are often marketed as a healthy beverage that people can adopt to improve their energy, stamina, athletic performance and concentration, but our review shows there are important health consequences, and little is known about many of their non-nutritive stimulants such as guarana and taurine,” says Dr. Mattei.

The health risks associated with energy drinks are mostly attributed to their high sugar and caffeine levels. They range from risk-seeking behavior, such as substance misuse and aggression, mental health problems in the form of anxiety and stress, to increased blood pressure, obesity, kidney damage, fatigue, stomachaches and irritation.

The review also highlights another worrying trend of mixing energy drinks with alcohol. Individuals who do this consume more alcohol than if they were drinking alcohol alone. It is thought energy drinks can mask the signs of alcohol inebriation, enabling an individual to consume more, increasing the likelihood of dehydration and alcohol poisoning.

Dr. Mattei and her colleagues hope that by highlighting our current knowledge about the health consequences of energy drinks, policy and interventions can be put in place to reduce negative effects on public health. In addition, the review can be used to target research to fill the gaps in our knowledge.

“Our review is limited because there are a small number of studies in this area and they primarily focus on healthy young adults, assessed at one point in time. Future research should explore the effects of the energy drink constituents we know less about, such as taurine, and consider long-term assessments across a broader range of the population to examine the effects of energy drink consumption over time,” she explains.

“However, we conclude that there is currently enough evidence to suggest that the negative health consequences of drinking energy drinks outweigh any potential short-term benefits.”


Explore further:
Regular energy drink use linked to later drug use among young adults

More information:
Laila Al-Shaar et al, Health Effects and Public Health Concerns of Energy Drink Consumption in the United States: A Mini-Review, Frontiers in Public Health (2017). DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2017.00225

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles