Markets have been targeting the youth with high caffeinated energy drinks and consumption has been drastically increasing over the last 10 years. We have all heard that energy drinks are harmful to the human body. But how? I wanted to look deeper into the effects of the caffeine in the energy drinks. Let’s look at some studies I found online.
This experimental study published by Mayo Clinic shows the effects of what an energy drink does to your body. It was a randomized controlled trial, in which 25 people participated. Participants were randomly assigned either an energy drink (Rockstar) or a placebo drink. The placebo differed from the energy drink only in two key stimulants, caffeine and taurine. The measured variables were sugar levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. The stress hormone “norepinephrine” was also measured because it is known to raise the heart rate and blood pressure. The results of the experiment wound up showing that caffeine levels increased after drinking the energy drink. Heart rate remained the same from the beginning of the experiment until the end, meanwhile blood pressure increased after consuming the Rockstar. Norepinephrine increased after the consumption as well.
The study was good in regards to measuring variables and controlling for them, however, the sample size was relatively small. Rather than having a sample of 25, perhaps a few hundred could change the results. Take a look at this other study I found that had a larger sample size.
This study that was published by the Medical Journal of Australia did an observational study that analyzed data from calls regarding energy drink exposures at the Australian poisons information center. Nearly 300 calls were reported. The median age of the participants was 17 years , and more than half of those people were men. The people who called drank on average 5 energy drinks in one session. For this study, they measured agitation, tremor, gastrointestinal upset, and palpitations. After analyzing the data from the calls, most people reported the symptoms of agitation, tremor, gastrointestinal upset, and palpitations. Twenty-one people had signs of dangerous cardiac or neurological toxicity. They had extreme symptoms such as seizures,hallucinations, and even cardiac ischaemia. Overall, 128 participants were hospitalized.
Both of these studies provide credible evidence for me to conclude that energy drinks are actually harmful to your health. Luckily for me, I never drank energy drinks, so I did not get hooked on the caffeine and other harmful stimulants. I would suggest others to substitute their energy drinks in for natural caffeine stimulants, such as coffee or tea.
Picture Source: https://www.babble.com/mom/mom-sues-monster-energy-drink-over-teens-death/