Negative health effects of consuming energy drinks put youth, young adults at risk


Young adults who drank energy drinks have felt its negative side effects, a study published in the journal CMAJ Open has revealed. The paper, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Waterloo, indicated that more than half of youth and young adults in Canada who drank energy drinks have had adverse reactions, with some even requiring medical assistance.

  • The objective of the study was to evaluate the harmful effects of energy drinks using a population-based sampling method – which researchers noted to be lacking prior this study.
  • For this study, the research team conducted an online survey of youth and young adults between the ages of 12 to 24 years based on a consumer panel. From the 2,055 total participants, the survey gleaned from their previous consumption habits, adverse reactions because of energy drinks, concurrent activities that may have affected the outcome.
  • The answers were also compared with adverse effects from coffee as a point of comparison.
  • The researchers found out that 1,516 (73.8 percent) had consumed an energy drink, in comparison to 1,741 respondents who drank coffee. Of the participants who had an energy drink, at least 55.4 percent of the respondents had experienced an adverse reaction because of energy drinks. These included a fast heartbeat, difficulty sleeping, headaches, as well as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In extreme cases, participants reported having seizures after consuming energy drinks.
  • At least 3.1 percent of those who had experienced adverse effects have considered going to a hospital. In comparison, adverse effects brought by coffee consumption is noted at 36 percent, and only 1.4 percent of those who had the reaction considered going to the hospital.

In conclusion, researchers posited that the adverse outcomes brought about by energy drinks are far greater than those from coffee; moreover, the conditions are consistent with caffeine’s physiologic effects, only more pronounced than other sources of the drug.

Find the full text of the study at this link.

 

Journal Reference:

Hammond D, Reid JL, Zukowski S. ADVERSE EFFECTS OF CAFFEINATED ENERGY DRINKS AMONG YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS IN CANADA: A WEB-BASED SURVEY. CMAJ Open. 2018;6(1). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20160154



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