Energy drinks cause health problems for every second adolescent

Heartbeat, chest pain, nausea: energy drinks harm your health

"Red Bull", "Monster" or "Booster": Energy drinks have been popular for years. Almost 70 percent of all young people consume such drinks. A recent study from Canada shows how dangerous drinks can be: According to the researchers, energy drinks cause health problems in every second teenager.

Over two thirds of young people drink energy drinks

Energy drinks have been growing in popularity for years. "Almost 70 percent of all young people drink energy drinks, and one in four of them do more than is healthy," the Consumer Advice Center North Rhine-Westphalia writes on its website. “But students and adults also use the caffeinated soft drinks to increase their performance and ability to concentrate; at parties and when driving, they should drive away the tiredness, ”said the experts. However, high consumption of such drinks can harm health. A recent scientific study from Canada shows how dangerous these drinks can become.

Negative health effects

According to the study by medical researchers from the University of Waterloo (Canada), more than half of Canadian adolescents and young adults who have consumed energy drinks have had negative health effects.

More than 2,000 young Canadians between the ages of 12 and 24 were interviewed for the study, which was published in the specialist magazine “CMAJ Open”.

55.4 percent of those surveyed reported health complaints such as rapid heartbeat, nausea and, in rare cases, convulsions.

Sleep disorders, diarrhea and chest pain were also mentioned.

Unhealthy ingredients

As study author David Hammond, professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Waterloo, explained, the health effects of energy drinks can be attributed to the different ingredients or the way in which they are consumed.

One of the unhealthy ingredients is sugar: a single can can contain up to 13 sugar cubes. Such drinks harm teeth, lead to obesity and promote diseases such as diabetes.

In addition, according to Canadian scientists, energy drinks are often drunk with alcohol or consumed during physical activity.

Other experts are always warning about the dangers of energy drinks with alcohol. The consumer center in North Rhine-Westphalia writes: "There have been several deaths that have been linked to the consumption of energy drinks, mostly in connection with alcohol and intensive exercise such as dancing."

16 year old boy died

One death that caused a sensation worldwide was that of a 16-year-old teenager from the state of South Carolina.

The boy had died of an overdose of caffeine from drinking milk coffee, a large bottle of Diet Mountain Dew Lemonade, and an energy drink, within two hours.

According to "CNN," the teenager collapsed in a classroom at his school near Columbia, was taken to a hospital with severe arrhythmia, and eventually suffered cardiac arrest.

More dangerous than caffeine drinks

"In most risk assessments to date, coffee has been used as a reference for assessing the health effects of energy drinks," said Hammond in a statement.

"However, it is clear that these products pose a greater health risk."

Previous studies had also shown that energy drinks are far more dangerous than caffeine drinks.

For some people with a certain genetic arrhythmia, even small amounts can be fatal, as Australian researchers reported in the journal "International Journal of Cardiology".

Limit consumption among children and adolescents

"The number of health effects observed in our study suggests that more should be done to limit child and adolescent consumption," said Hammond.

"There are currently no restrictions for children who buy energy drinks," said the study author.

However, there are currently considerations in Canada to ban advertising of energy drinks for children and issue warnings not to consume such drinks while exercising.

Avoid energy drinks

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) also pointed out in an older communication that there are indications that "the simultaneous consumption of energy drinks and higher amounts of alcohol and / or extensive physical activity increase the risk of negative health effects".

"Certain groups of consumers, such as children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and people sensitive to caffeine, should refrain from consuming such energy drinks," it continues.

In Germany there is a lot of discussion about a possible ban on energy drinks. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Hard-Wired: Kids u0026 Energy Drinks (December 2021).