The Important of Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are popular among young teens and adults, but studies continue to show they may have unintended and potentially serious side effects, including high blood pressure, hyperactivity and more.

In a new report published in Pediatric Emergency Care,researchers conducted a questionnaire at two emergency departments from June 2011 to June 2013 that surveyed adolescents between ages 12 and 18. Of the 612 young people who responded, 33% said they frequently drank energy drinks. Among those teens, 76% said they experienced a headache in the last six months, 47% said they experienced anger and 22% reported difficulty breathing.

It’s impossible to say whether any of those behaviors were due to energy drinks, but young people who consumed them were much more likely to report the symptoms than those who didn’t. Overall, kids who consumed energy drinks often were more likely to say the drinks helped them do better in school or in sports, helped them focus and helped them stay up at night.

Moderation is key,” says Dr. Vikas Khullar, a University of Florida fellow in Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

In a recent case study published in the journal BMJ Case Reports, Khullar and his colleagues wrote about a 50-year-old man who came to the hospital with an inflamed liver. He was in pain, vomiting and had dark urine. After running several tests for possible infections and coming up short, the doctors learned that the man drank four to five energy drinks every day for three weeks before his health issues appeared. The doctors concluded energy drinks caused his liver problems, citing another similar case that supports their suspicions. “We cannot speculate on the safety of energy drinks, however anyone with liver or heart disease should consume energy drinks with caution,” says Khullar.