What young adults need to know before consuming another energy drink.
How many times have you reached for an energy drink to help you get through the day? Perhaps you are one of the many individuals who like to mix their energy drinks with alcohol? Well, a new study out of Madrid may cause you to falter before reaching for that second tin of Red Bull.
You see, the problem with these energy drinks, aside from the marketed high amounts of caffeine, is the 'hidden nasties' – which, incidentally, also contain caffeine. Consumer Affairs confirms that 'ingredients such as guarana, ginseng and taurine have caffeine concentrations that are equal to, or higher than, caffeine found in coffee'. It is when these additional sources of caffeine are combined with the regular amounts that they become dangerous. When caffeine is consumed in higher than recommended amounts it can cause your heart rate to increase.
The Madrid study found that in 2007, of the 5,448 caffeine overdoses reported in the US, 46% occurred to people under the age of 19. They believe that this is due to the staggering number of adolescents who consume energy drinks – an estimated 31% of 12 to 19-year-olds (why are 12-year-olds consuming energy drinks!?).
So, what exactly can happen to a young person if they do ingest too much caffeine? For young people higher than average caffeine consumption can be especially dangerous because it can cause arrhythmias to develop. As well as that, excess caffeine can impact on one's ability to sleep soundly. Inadequate sleep can have a snowball effect on many aspects of one's life. However, for young people, inadequate sleep can cause developmental, behavioural and emotional issues.
Obviously, we are adverse to energy drinks and strongly advise against them. However, we understand that there will be no end to the sale and consumption of them. Therefore here are a few recommendations if you feel the need to partake in them:
• Try to limit your intake of caffeinated drinks to one per day;
• Do not drink them before, during or immediately after physical activity. The reason being, energy drinks have a tendency to increase heart rates. If you are exerting yourself through physical activity, the additional kick given by an energy drink can cause a cardiac incident.
• Do not consume with alcohol as studies are showing that this combination can lead to adverse cardiac effects as well.
Finally, we strongly urge against the consumption of energy drinks for young adults and teens and anyone who has a known heart condition.
For more information on the effects of energy drinks on your body, please do not hesitate to contact DentalCareXtra. Alternatively, complete the form below, and one of our friendly team members will contact you.
Victorian State Government. (2015). Better Health Channel: Caffeine. Retrieved from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/caffeine
Maynard, C. (2015). Energy drinks the cause of sudden cardiac deaths in young people, researchers find. Consumer Affairs online. Retrieved from: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/energy-drinks-the-cause-of-many-sudden- cardiac-deaths-in-young-people-researchers-find-040315.html