Energy drinks and their adverse effects on teens

A Chapman University shows 40 percent of teens aged 13 to19 reported an adverse effect while ingesting energy drinks.

Energy drinks and their adverse effects on teens

“Damn Good is the guilt free alternative”. We love saying that. But it’s not a slogan conceived by a million dollar marketing company. It’s based on personal experiences. I’m no teen by any account, other than my gaming habits, and there have been many nights that I’ve thought:”Did I really need those last three energy drinks”.
I mean, it’s not that I really think I ’need’ the sugar or caffeine to be the highest scoring player in some rounds of Battlefront 2. I just like the having that slim can of softdrink by my side for the fizzy taste.
Few teens ’need’ more sugar and caffeine. But don’t take my words for it. Chapman University researchers had some interesting data on the subject. 40 percent of teens aged 13 to19 reported an adverse effect while ingesting energy drinks. Although several of these adverse effects go away on their own, others are potentially serious. The most common side effects included:
  • Insomnia
  • “Jittery”
  • Heart palpitations
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Labored breathing
  • Seizures
To the researchers’ surprise energy drinks are perceived as healthy and are used for weight loss by some.
“I started seeing a lot of it and learned this had not been studied before; there was no data on usage,” Nordt said. “I conducted one of the first studies evaluating effects of energy drink consumption in adults and realized there is very little data on adolescents using energy drinks.”
In 2017, the global energy drinks market topped $55 billion. With bright packaging and provocative names, teens say they drink these beverages for (in order of appearance) energy, as a study aide, to improve sports performance, “friends drink them,” it “feels cool,” to lose weight and taste, and while driving.
Eighty-one percent of teens surveyed stated they drank the beverage zero to once a week, while nearly 30 percent reported trying energy drinks for the first time by age 12 or younger.

Energy

The thing about energy is that it comes in many forms. Fast acting sugars, like the ones in many energy drinks and softdrinks, are like nitro to a car. They provide short bursts of energy. Great if the driver activates his nitro on the perfect moment, the straight stretch of miles just before the finish of the race. Hitting that nitro button while still standing on the parking lot, doesn’t make any sense. Especially if that means that your nitro is being converted to luggage in your trunk.

Sugar is awesome, at the right place, at the right time. At the wrong places all the time and you end up more moving van than racing car.


Journal Reference:
  1. Sean Patrick Nordt, Ilene Claudius, Cyrus Rangan, Erick Armijo, Peter Milano, Sheryl Yanger, Christian Tomaszsewski. Reasons for Energy Drink Use and Reported Adverse Effects Among Adolescent Emergency Department Patients. Pediatric Emergency Care, 2017; 33 (12): 770 DOI: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000000644
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