The effects to one’s health from energy drink (ED) consumption are far beyond a short-lived energy boost, based upon the latest research on this topic published in Frontiers in Public Health, and has revealed the astounding, associated negative health consequences. Effects on mental health include:
Risk-seeking behaviors. Substance abuse (marijuana, alcohol, cigarette, amphetamines); Aggressive behavior (bullying, fighting, truancy).
Mental health effects. Stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, low academic achievement, suicidal ideation, plan or attempt.
Apart from affecting mental health, energy drink consumption can also increase the risk of hypertension, kidney damage, obesity, tooth erosion, and heart disease. The authors added that these health risks are usually concealed by a lack of regulation and clever marketing. ‘The negative effects linked with ED are compounded by the lack of regulatory oversight, along with aggressive marketing towards adolescents’, according to the authors of the published article.
Most energy drinks in the U.S. contain similar ingredients – water, caffeine, sugar, non-nutritive stimulants such as yerba mate, ginseng, guarana, taurine, inositol, L-carnitine and D-glucuronolactone; as well as vitamins and minerals. In general, ED’s high sugar, stimulant, and caffeine content can all cause a number of health consequences.
Besides the negative impact of energy drinks, the authors also pointed-out mixing energy drinks with alcohol, which aggravates health risks. Such trends seems to lead to a greater level of alcohol consumption, particularly among young people.
With such magnitude of alarming health risks, the authors argued that energy drinks “should be considered a significant public health problem that warrants attention”.
As a final point, parents and their adolescents must be informed on the adverse nutritional content and the health consequences of these products so they can make informed decisions.
Laila Al-Shaar, Kelsey Vercammen, Chang Lu, Scott Richardson, Martha Tamez & Josiemer Mattei. (August 2017). Health Effects and Public Health Concerns of Energy Drink Consumption in the United States: A Mini-Review. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00225/full