It’s a popular fad. Teenagers buy a couple of energy drinks with attractive neon logos and humorous marketing campaigns, chug a few cans and enjoy the buzz that comes with high sugar and caffeine content. But is that really all there is to energy drinks? The global energy drink market was worth US$3.8 billion in 1999 and this value grew to US$27.5 billion in 2013.
Gaining worldwide concern from the likes of the WHO as well as concerned parents, researchers have delved deeper into this phenomenon, linking consumption of energy drinks to a variety of health complications, including increased heart rate and blood pressure. According to a recent study, consuming energy drinks has been linked to an increase in the resting blood pressure in young people who do not drink caffeinated beverages on a regular basis. This can increase the risk of developing cardiac problems later on in life, researchers say.
Also, the study showed that those who were not caffeine users were even more exposed to an increased risk of high blood pressure, almost double than those who drank the placebo drink. In an article published by Reuters in 2004, there are also ingredients other than caffeine in some of the drinks – such as guarana and taurine – whose effects are so poorly studied it’s hard to say whether they’re safe in large quantities and in children and teens. To add to the dangers of energy drinks, Energy Shots are also gaining popularity as a low-calorie alternative to full size energy drink, but with the same amount of caffeine and possibly more adverse consequences.