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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  • Joe Pullman

    Never had one, will never drink one. I don’t fall for the hype of these phony pick me ups. 5 hour energy is the same. People can waste their money on them, I don’t care, but it’s pathetic. Just like smoking. Idiots all of you that do this stuff.

  • J.A.

    Lets negate the fact its full of essential vitamins and amino acids. Or the fact you can buy them sugar free – your point is invalid. Or the fact that as stated they have less caffeine in them vs a Starbucks coffee yet there are more ppl who drink loads of coffee a day for whatever reason they see fit. Caffeine withdrawal will happen if you stop any caffeine use (like coffee) – invalid point. The only valid points on here are over use – but that pertains to anything, if you are stupid enough to drink 2+ a day, you need to blame only yourself for not reading the label. And medications, but again, that comes down to reading the label.

    I have a degree in nutrition and what this comes down to is a simple case of over use. Like everything else. But my advice when making a list of cons, include the pros. Thus allowing ppl to make an informed decision vs a one sided one based on your biased opinion

  • Ted

    Thanks for your input J.A. but we do have many articles that discuss the benefits of caffeine use and we do stress moderation. this article only was meant to highlight the potential dangers of consuming energy drinks.

  • your bitch

    fuck you

  • your bitch

    YOUR MOTHERS TITS

  • JA For someone who has a degree in nutrition, your post surprises me you should know that even sugar free is not good the substitute that is used to replace sugar is poison, it needs to be made with natural products and these are not they have been know to kill kids and that is a fact. I don’t care what vitamins are in here if there covered with poison, this energy drink is giving to any kid that buys it, and most are not going to read the ingredients just the hype about it sad but true. and the bottom line is there is bad stuff that has killed people. enough said. sugar free and or vitamins or not, If your on a diet and you eat healthy salad BUT uses dressing that has a lot of fat in it … kinda defeats the purpose. Same idea here.

  • you should get checked and you could replace the energy addiction with a energy drink that is natural and heals limitless that is all we use and its great you can check into it if you interested let me know

  • I can offer her a energy drink that is natural and give the same effects let me know

  • get a healthy one if your gonna do it

  • poison is poison it may take longer for some but the damage will be done

  • Don’t drink them at all drink health ones there out there limitless is one its great, healthy, and natural If your gonna drink it and we all do need this from time to time do it the healthy way

  • Ted that depends on the person you cant say that one could really hurt someone if they have different health issues

  • It can be ill post this to everyone there are safe one even healthy ones ill give you one limitless so you can do it without giving it up

  • Thats my question your 12 and it sounds like you think this is a good thing if you only knew.

  • you can wait and find out the hard way or take everyone’s word for it there not good bottom line it will effect you in a unpleasant way if not now then later

  • good for you, there is even a healthier one, but you got the idea

  • yes

  • you wont stay fine

  • robyn

    Amen to that. Finally someone who knows the Truth!!

  • Lisa

    Read the Alcoholics Anonymous book. It contains principles that apply to quitting anything. And it might help you as well. There’s support groups for family and friends of addicts, as well as the addicts themselves.

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.