Everyone’s tried an energy drink, whether it’s trying to writing an essay late at night or to pep yourself up on a night out. Now a new study has revealed that slamming down cans of Monster or Red Bull may be more dangerous than we thought.
According to a recent study published in the journal CMAJ Open, more than half of young people who have consumed energy drinks have experienced negative health effects.
In a nationwide survey of Canadian youth, over half of those who had ever consumed an energy drink had reported experiencing an adverse health event, including rapid heartbeat, nausea, and in rare cases, seizures.
Currently, Canadian legislation is meant to prohibit energy drinks from being marketed to children and energy drinks are not recommend to be used by people participating in sporting activities.
The researchers believe caffeine alone may not be responsible for energy drinks’ negative health effects.
“Most risk assessments to date have used coffee as a reference for estimating the health effects of energy drinks; however, it is clear these products pose a greater health risk,” said David Hammond a Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Waterloo.
“The health effects from energy could be due to the different ingredients than coffee, or the ways in which they consumed, including with alcohol or during physical activity; regardless, the findings suggest a need to increase surveillance of health effects from these products.”
The researchers from, the University of Waterloo in Ontario, asked 2,055 young people about their consumption of energy drinks.
Results reveal 24.7 percent of youngsters have experienced a fast heart rate, while 24.1 percent have struggled to sleep, due to energy drink consumption.
Some 18.3 percent have suffered headaches due to the drinks, while 5.1 percent report having experienced nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
A further five percent have sought medical attention due to their symptoms and 3.6 percent report experiencing chest pains.
Alarmingly, 0.2 percent have even suffered seizures after drinking the beverages.
Of those who have suffered symptoms, the ‘vast majority’ consumed less than the recommended one-to-two energy drinks a day.