Top 14 Energy Drink Dangers

energy-drink-dangers
The dangers of energy drinks are getting a lot of press because of the sheer volume of energy stimulating products in the marketplace and the ease of access to these by minors.

While most energy drinks don’t have as much caffeine as a Starbucks’ coffee, they are heavily sweetened and easy to drink, which appeals more to the younger demographic.

Therefore, we are seeing increased incidents of those 18 and younger having dangerous side effects from consuming too many energy drinks at one time.

Fourteen Dangers of Drinking Too Many Energy Drinks at One Time

  1. Cardiac Arrest: While our Caffeine Calculator can show people how many energy drinks at one time would be lethal, this formula doesn’t apply to everyone. Those with underlying heart conditions have gone into cardiac arrest after just a few energy drinks. Before drinking energy drinks or caffeine, be sure to know your heart’s health.-A new study showed that energy drinks cause more forceful heart contractions, which could be harmful to some with certain heart conditions.- One study showed that between 2009 and 2011 there were 4854 calls to poison control centers regarding energy drinks. 51% of these calls were involving children. src– Another study shows the link between energy drinks and cardiac events among teens. This study recommends that teens consume no more than one 250 ml energy drink per day and not before or during sports or exercise. Study link. A 2016 study showed that 18-40-year-olds who drank energy drinks had a significant increase in their QTc interval, which is a marker of abnormal heart rhythm risk. Abstract.
  2. Headaches and Migraines: Too many energy drinks can lead to severe headaches from the caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Changing the amount of caffeine you ingest daily can cause more frequent headaches.
  3. Increased Anxiety: Those with 2 different genetic variations in their adenosine receptors are prone to feeling increased anxiety when consuming caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks. Larger doses of caffeine can even spur on full-blown panic attacks. The research.
  4. Insomnia: Energy drinks do a good job of keeping people awake, but when abused, they can cause some people to miss sleep altogether. This lack of sleep causes impaired functioning and can be dangerous to drive or perform other concentration heavy tasks.
  5. Type 2 Diabetes: Because many energy drinks are also very high in sugar, they can eventually wear out the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, which leads to type 2 diabetes.
  6. Drug Interaction: Some of the ingredients in energy drinks can interact with prescription medications especially medications taken for depression.
  7. Addiction: People can become addicted to caffeine and energy drinks. This can lead to a lack of functioning when unable to have the energy drink or a financial stress from having to buy several energy drinks daily.
  8. Risky behavior: There was a study published in The Journal of American College Health which showed that teens are more likely to take dangerous risks when high on caffeine. This could result in injury or legal trouble.
  9. Jitters and Nervousness: Too much caffeine from energy drinks causes some people to shake and be anxious. This can interfere with performing needed tasks or cause emotional issues. This study shows how caffeine can elicit anxiety.
  10. Vomiting: Too many energy drinks can lead to vomiting. This causes dehydration and acid erosion of teeth and esophagus if frequent.
  11. Allergic Reactions: Because of the many ingredients in energy drinks reactions could occur, from minor itching to airway constriction.
  12. High Blood Pressure: Caffeinated products like energy drinks can elevate a person’s blood pressure. For those with normal blood pressure, this isn’t concerning, but those with already elevated blood pressure could be placing themselves at risk of stroke and other health problems related to hypertension if they consume too many energy drinks in a short period of time. The research. A more recent study conducted by The Mayo Clinic found that Rockstar Energy Drink (240 mg version) significantly raised the blood pressure of study participants compared to the placebo drink. Overall, there was a 6.4% increase in average blood pressure. More about the study here. A newer study published by the American Heart Association showed that energy drinks have a greater negative effect on blood pressure than drinks that contain caffeine alone as the active ingredient. They believe the combination of ingredients in energy drinks are why these beverages pose a greater risk of heart-related problems than drinks like coffee or tea.
  13. Niacin Overdose: Niacin (Vitamin B3) is placed in most energy drinks at levels that cause no harm and can even be therapeutic. However, if a person is taking additional supplements containing Niacin, overdosing on the vitamin is possible when consuming energy drinks in addition to those supplements. Symptoms include; Skin flushing, dizziness, rapid heart rate, vomiting, itching, gout, and diarrhea.  Source. The British Journal of Medicine recently published a case study of a man who experienced nonviral hepatitis from B3 toxicity believed to have been from consuming too many energy drinks during a period of three weeks.
  14. Stress Hormone Release: A study conducted by The Mayo Clinic found that a 240 mg version of Rockstar Energy Drink caused an increase in stress hormone release. The average norepinephrine level of the participants increased by 74% while the placebo only caused a 31% increase. The study

Despite these serious dangers quitting caffeine is often easier said than done.

Due to the addictive nature of caffeine exacerbated by anxiety and lack of sleep, actually quitting caffeine can be a nightmare. After all, you’ve reached a place where you practically need caffeine to function. In this situation, it’s time to consider a legitimate caffeine withdrawal detox to cut caffeine quickly, without the pains of cold turkey detox.

From: Current Opinions in Pediatrics (Apr 2012)

From: Current Opinions in Pediatrics (Apr 2012)

World Health Organization’s Warning

The World Health Organization (WHO) just released a warning letter concerning the dangers energy drinks pose to young people, especially since they found 68% of adolescents consume them.

To reduce energy drink dangers, the recommend the following to government agencies:

  • Establish an upper caffeine limit on all products.
  • Enforce labeling requirements and sales restrictions to minors.
  • Enforce regulation of the industry to responsibly market their products.
  • Train health care workers to recognize and treat overdose from energy drinks.
  • Screen patients with a history of substance abuse for heavy consumption of energy drinks.
  • Educate the public about the dangers of mixing energy drinks with alcohol.
  • Continue researching the negative side effects energy drinks have on young people.

Their report is found here.

Moderation is Key

Too much of anything can potentially be dangerous, so moderation is recommended when consuming energy drinks as well. Caffeine (trimethylxanthine) and other ingredients in these beverages are drugs and should be respected.

To reduce the potential energy drink dangers education is key. Consumers need to be aware of how much caffeine is in a drink or product and parents need to know exactly what their children are drinking and talk to them about what is safe.

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  • Ted

    No, the dangers come from drinking them on a regular basis and in excess.

  • Jen

    I never drink these. But decided have the rockstar drink thurs afternoon to get me through rest of work shift. by mid morning friday i had severe flu like aching all over my body- shoulders, back, legs, arms. felt a bit sick and couldn’t stop moving from the pain. lasted all day, and today is sunday and feeling better but minor ache in legs. not sure if this is connected, but very strange just happened the time i have the drink i never touch. and after all i read it seems best i stay clear as i usually do.

  • Danielle

    I had a heart attack on 4/22/2014 and I know the 3 energy drinks I was drinking a day did not help. I am a 44 year old and should have never had heart attack. Keep drinking them and you too will be getting stints put in your heart.

  • Brian

    Well here is my out put on these drinks! I truly think that they are addictive! We all know that drugs, alcohol are addictive! If your a person who can control the amount you use then you should be OK, like if ya go out with your friends and have a few drinks that’s ok but if you have to finish the bottle before you end the night then you shouldn’t be drinking! So if your a person with addictions then you should stay away from these! Here’s a true story! My wife who I love with all of my heart is an alcoholic and a drug abuser! it started out with a few drinks here and there then it got to be drinking 3 to 4 time a week and with more drinks cuz half the bottle didn’t do the trick, it got to the point where the whole bottle was gone in day! OK I’m not mentioning the drugs (cocaine, oxycodones) which are addictive, she also did cuz the booze just wasn’t enough! So in time it damaged her brain cells, “did something” So now with all the pain and suffering of watching my wife destroying her life makes my heart fall to pieces because of addictions She now has seizures! OK so now she quit drinking and the drugs, has had 2 or 3 mishaps in a yrs time much better! But now she was started on these monster drinks, and like the other addictive things started 1 or 2 then more cuz you need more to feel the same is now addicted to the monster drinks! so now she is at the point of not wanting to live anymore because of the damage she has done to herself! So the bottom line is that all addictive things are not good for you!!! I know that one of these days I will come home wifeless! Or maybe she will stop with addictions and I will live my life happy with the one I chose in life………..

  • Ted

    Thanks for taking the time to share that with us. It’s so true, what’s fine for some is poison for others. Hang in there and I really hope your wife gets well.

  • Ash

    Anyone know a good way to make someone stop? My best friend started taking them and now she’s drinking them like 1 per day or something I keep telling her it’s bad but she won’t listen any advice?

  • Ted

    You can’t make anyone stop. It’s your friend’s life and decision. While it’s not a healthy choice, one a day really isn’t cause for too much concern. If she starts consuming more than that then point her to this website, so she can understand for herself the dangers of too much caffeine. She’s lucky to have a concerned friend like you.

  • dj

    s*** I drink 6 or seven today I got a problem even my doctor told me that one a day wouldn’t hurt but I’m drinking way to many

  • dj

    energy drinks kill your immune system probably came to close to a bug and have nothing to fight it off

  • Gabriel

    The only way to quit without withdrawals is by downgrading to soda with caffeine then slowly drinking less and less.

  • ItsBad

    hey dude i just have a question im a 13 year old and the first time i drank and energy drink was 3 weeks ago ive only had 3 so far are there any dangers? pls answer

  • Ted

    I wouldn’t recommend any energy drinks for a guy your age. They can interfere with your sleep and sleep is vital for a growing guy like yourself.

  • charley

    i drink 12-15 daily and recently been vomiting and getting severe pain in my stomach, my food intake is less and i am addicted to the drinks and i cant stop doctors wont help they tell me to do it myself but i know i cant i do need to get my stomach checked out cos of all the acid in them but i dont know

  • Ted

    Have you looked at this article? It has some good tips for quitting including one method that teaches you to gradually reduce your consumption. https://www.caffeineinformer.com/my-caffeine-detox

  • charley

    yeah tried it all before when i had similar symptoms and got told by doctor i had a caffiene addiction but i cant stop

  • D-Roc

    I know it’s not popular to say…but faith in our Redeemer is the answer for addictions of all kinds. He gives new life to our souls and leads us to emotional and spiritual health. Call upon Him in your time of need; He hears the cries of all who call upon Him in faith.

  • Energy Girl

    There is a new “energy drink” coming in October. It is all natural with very little caffeine and it’s side benefits (not effects) are increased NATURAL energy without crashing, mental clarity, more brain power, better sleep, and more! It’s the only drink of it’s kind in the world. I’m excited to be a part of a revolution that is changing the face of the energy drink world! It doesn’t hurt that I’ll be compensated for sharing a healthy, all natural, low to no sugar (without artificial sweeteners) drink that is actually helping people vs. harming them 😀 You can be too!

    A friend got off of coffee with zero side effects or withdrawals 🙂 He doesn’t even crave it anymore!

  • zombiak22

    I have lost a lot of weight as a result of drinking monster. Smelling food makes me want to vomit.

  • Matt

    I’d say see a doctor and don’t make medically based decisions based on an imaginary sky wizard.

  • Joe Pullman

    I guess to you, thats great. Pathetic is what it is.

Last Modified: November 9, 2017

References

  • Menci, D., Righini, F. M., Cameli, M., Lisi, M., Benincasa, S., Focardi, M., & Mondillo, S. (2013). Acute effects of an energy drink on myocardial function assessed by conventional echo-Doppler analysis and by speckle tracking echocardiography on young healthy subjects. Journal of amino acids, 2013.
  • Seifert, S. M., Seifert, S. A., Schaechter, J. L., Bronstein, A. C., Benson, B. E., Hershorin, E. R., ... & Lipshultz, S. E. (2013). An analysis of energy-drink toxicity in the National Poison Data System. Clinical toxicology, 51(7), 566-574.
  • Trapp, G. S., Allen, K., O'Sullivan, T. A., Robinson, M., Jacoby, P., & Oddy, W. H. (2014). Energy drink consumption is associated with anxiety in Australian young adult males. Depression and anxiety, 31(5), 420-428. study
  • US National Library of Medicine
  • Curr Opin Pediatr. 2012 Apr; 24(2):243-51 (link).
  • Sanchis-Gomar, F., Pareja-Galeano, H., Cervellin, G., Lippi, G., & Earnest, C. P. (2015). Energy Drink Overconsumption in Adolescents: Implications for Arrhythmias and Other Cardiovascular Events. Canadian Journal of Cardiology.
  • Alsene, K., Deckert, J., Sand, P., & de Wit, H. (2003). Association between A2a receptor gene polymorphisms and caffeine-induced anxiety. Neuropsychopharmacology, 28(9), 1694-1702.
  • Usman, A., & Jawaid, A. (2012). Hypertension in a young boy: an energy drink effect. BMC research notes, 5(1), 591.
  • Shah, S. A., Dargush, A. E., Potts, V., Lee, M., Millard-Hasting, B. M., Williams, B., & Lacey, C. S. (2016). Effects of Single and Multiple Energy Shots on Blood Pressure and Electrocardiographic Parameters. The American journal of cardiology, 117(3), 465-468.