Energy Drinks: Benefits and Disadvantages Essay


Energy drinks are a relatively new product; the number of sales has been growing since the end of the 20th century. These are beverages aimed at stimulating the central nervous system with an anti-sedative effect. Energy drinks contain tonic agents, most often caffeine, vitamins and sugars. The increase in their consumption has led to a public debate whether they should be banned or not. Medical institutions report a growing number of complaints related to harmful effects on consumers’ health. Therefore, it is critical to analyze where energy drinks came from, risks and health benefits, target population and marketing campaign, and states’ regulation.

Research Area

The subject of energy drinks remains debatable as the data available on the effects is insufficient and contradictory. Higgins et al. claim that the current evidence remains unsystematic, leading to the impossibility of forming one position within the scientific field (65). According to Hammond et al., most of the data available shows short-term health impacts; most results are gained from the investigation of people with chronic conditions (20). The industry is also characterized by a significant amount of sponsored literature (Higgins et al. 65). Thus, the topic lacks unbiased studies, long-term research with samples of healthy people.

The main point of energy drinks opponents is the high concentration of caffeine. There are several common stimulants in energy drinks, such as taurine and guarana extracts (Hammond et al. 23). Each of them can be considered harmless, not causing adverse outcomes for the organism, but the interaction of both substances can increase the effect of caffeine and result in health risks (Hammond et al. 23). Regarding health concerns, most of the public’s questions focus on potential risks for youth as children and teenagers are more susceptible to stimulants than the older population (Hammond et al. 19). However, according to Hammond et al., the current position towards energy drinks is that these beverages’ effects exceed outcomes of other caffeinated drinks (Hammond et al. 23). Therefore, it has been recognized as novel exposure and should be investigated independently from previous caffeine research.

History of Energy Drinks

The first energy drink was invented in Asia, specifically in Japan. The use of amphetamines was widespread after the Second World War but limited due to restricting laws (Engber). As a result, in 1962, the Taisho company presented Lipovitan D; it was a legal, energizing drink sold in small bottles (Engber). The supply of extra-caffeinated and vitamin-fortified beverages increased; a large portion of drinks was bought by Japanese CEOs to maintain beneficial business performance by the end of the 20th century (Engber). They served as replenishing energy sources, containing caffeine, vitamins, and a significant amount of sugar.

Risks and Health Benefits

The adverse outcomes for health are associated with caffeine consumption above the norm. Energy drinks affect the nervous and cardiovascular systems; the possible consequences are insomnia, fast heartbeat, headache, accompanied by vomiting, nausea or diarrhea; sometimes, it can cause chest pain (Hammond et al. 23). It can also provoke tachycardia and other cardiac problems; severe cases are seizures and death (Reid et al. 66). The overuse may lead to neurotic issues such as anxiety, agitation or jitteriness (Reid et al. 66). People that consumed energy drinks may report the intention of seeking medical help.

In small amounts, energy drinks are supposed to bring positive effects. For instance, they accelerate the reaction, increase aerobic and anaerobic endurance, prevent drowsiness while driving, improve the intensity of perception, mood and well-being (Hammond et al. 21). Nevertheless, the leading target group – youth – is more vulnerable to energy drinks due to smaller body size, lower levels of pharmacological tolerance to caffeine (Hammond et al. 22). These beverages may impact cognitive capabilities in adolescents faced with some behavior modifications (De Sanctis et al. 228). However, the long-term effects are unstudied in terms of chronic and excessive consumption.

Frequent consumption of energy drinks relates to athletes and secondary school students. According to Higgins et al., energy drinks continue to be marketed to children and adolescents (65). Market campaigns target teenagers through the Internet, social media platforms, posters, wall graffiti, and videos. The central theme of advertising campaigns is the involvement in sports activities. Consequently, several studies report the prevalence of energy drink consumption in youth intended to improve their strength and speed (Hammond et al. 23). For instance, up to 80% of college athletes drink them to enhance their sports performance (Higgins et al. 65). The industry aggressively advertises the product; hence due to bright packaging, these beverages have become popular, especially among young people.

Concerning the typical reasons, these are curiosity, taste and need for energy. According to Reid et al., in Canada, people want to stay awake for study, work or driving; similar intentions are reported in Europe (66). Moreover, the consumption behavior is impacted by social circumstances; for instance, children say, “my friends drink them” or “energy drinks are cool” (Reid et al. 66). Teenagers report that they drink it for “going out or partying” or “to mix with alcohol” (Reid et al. 66). Thus, energy drinks are consumed at home to be productive or at parties.

How Long Have Energy Drinks Been Available?

Energy drinks have been available in the market since the middle of the 20th century. In the United States, they were introduced in 1949; in Asia, the first campaign was performed in 1976 in Thailand, based on a Japanese drink (De Sanctis et al. 223). In Europe, it appeared in 1987 in Austria; overall, energy drinks became popular in the late 1990s (De Sanctis et al. 223). These days, they are available in almost all countries around the globe.

Energy drinks are considered legal mostly worldwide, being sold to all ages and groups of the population. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies these beverages as dietary supplements or foods. Both categories do not require adverse effect reporting; content might be strictly controlled depending on definition (Higgins et al. 66). This results in the ability of producers to control the caffeine level of their free choice. In most countries, energy drinks are sold freely; some states have forbidden their sale to adolescents. In France, Denmark and Norway, until 2009, energy drinks were banned for sale in grocery stores; they could be bought in pharmacies since they were considered medication. However, at present, almost all people can buy energy drinks regardless of age.

Personal Conclusion

To sum up, the current pace of living requires a person to be active. When energy resources are declining, some people consume energy drinks. It is an unfortunate tendency as energy drinks can be addictive. In my view, the necessity to outlaw energy drinks across the country should be acknowledged. However, until recently, the manufacturers of these beverages have found reasons and tools to influence the government, scientific community and target audience.

Energy drinks contain a concentrated dosage of caffeine and stimulants, including vitamins, taurine, herbal supplement and sugars. Side effects are possible, namely tachycardia, nervousness, anxiety and depression in case of an overdose. It is recommended to diminish consuming energy drinks by children and adolescents, people who have problems with the gastrointestinal tract, heart, blood vessels and pressure, and increased excitability, nervousness, sleep disorders and sensitivity to caffeine. Marketing campaigns are often youth-oriented, targeting children and teenagers; therefore, the government should accelerate the adoption of laws to limit sales and control their advertising aimed at minors.

Works Cited

De Sanctis, Vincenzo, et al. “Caffeinated energy drink consumption among adolescents and potential health consequences associated with their use: A significant public health hazard.” Acta Bio Medica: Atenei Parmensis , vol. 88, no. 2, 2017, pp. 222-231.

Engber, Daniel. “The Beauty of the Injured Book.” Medieval Fragments , 2013.

Hammond, David, et al. “Adverse effects of caffeinated energy drinks among youth and young adults in Canada: A web-based survey.” CMAJ Open, vol. 6, no. 1, 2018, pp. 19-25

Higgins, John, et al. “Energy drinks: A contemporary issues paper.” Current Sports Medicine Reports , vol. 17, no. 2, 2018, pp. 65-72.

Reid, Jessica L., et al. “Consumption of caffeinated energy drinks among youth and young adults in Canada.” Preventive Medicine Reports , no. 5, 2017, pp. 65-70.

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IvyPanda. (2022, July 16). Energy Drinks: Benefits and Disadvantages.

"Energy Drinks: Benefits and Disadvantages." IvyPanda , 16 July 2022,

IvyPanda . (2022) 'Energy Drinks: Benefits and Disadvantages'. 16 July.

IvyPanda . 2022. "Energy Drinks: Benefits and Disadvantages." July 16, 2022.

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IvyPanda . "Energy Drinks: Benefits and Disadvantages." July 16, 2022.

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Energy Drinks

energy drink can

Plain water is the best hydrating beverage for most people, but sports and energy drinks are advertised to appeal to those who exercise or need a boost of energy to get through the day.

Though sometimes confused with sports beverages , energy drinks are a different product entirely. They are marketed to increase alertness and energy levels, containing significant amounts of caffeine and as much or more sugar as in soda. Many energy drinks pack about 200 mg of caffeine, the amount in two cups of brewed coffee. Other substances purported to increase energy may be added, like B vitamins and herbs such as ginseng and guarana. Most concerning is a lack of regulation about the safety of these drinks, as well as aggressive marketing tactics geared toward adolescents. [1] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2007, 1,145 adolescents ages 12 to 17 went to the emergency room for an energy drink-related emergency. In 2011 that number climbed to 1,499. [2]

After water, sugar is the main ingredient in energy drinks. A nutritional comparison shows that a 12-ounce cola drink contains about 39 grams of sugar, 41 grams of sugar in an energy drink. Research has found that consuming high-sugar drinks of any kind can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and gout.

Because of the amount of sugar and stimulant ingredients, there is concern that these beverages may not be helpful, and even worse, harmful to adolescents and people with certain health conditions.  

Energy Drinks and Health

Sipping a beverage that offers quick energy may appeal to people who feel fatigued or who believe the caffeine can provide an edge when exercising or playing competitive sports. Although statements on the websites of energy drinks warn that these beverages may not be suitable for children, youth are among their largest consumers. An energy drink may be used by adolescents or college students cramming for exams through the night, or by a young athlete before an important game. While it is true that some controlled trials have shown temporary improved alertness and reversal of fatigue after taking energy drinks, as well as enhanced physical performance in young athletes, the majority of studies show an association with negative health effects. These include increased stress, aggressive behaviors like fighting, alcohol/cigarette abuse, increased blood pressure, increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, poor sleep quality, and stomach irritation. [1]

A typical energy drink may contain the following: carbonated water, around 40 grams of sugar (from sucrose and/or glucose), 160 mg or more of caffeine, artificial sweetener , and herbs/substances associated with mental alertness and performance but that lack scientific evidence with controlled trials (taurine, panax ginseng root extract, L-carnitine, L-tartarate, guarana seed extract, B vitamins).

Special concerns with energy drinks:

  • Amplified negative health effects in adolescents. Children and teens may experience heightened effects from the high amounts of caffeine, added sugars including high fructose corn syrup, low-calorie sweeteners , and herbal stimulants, partly due to their smaller body size. [3]
  • Marketing tactics towards youth. Estimates show more than a 240% increase in U.S. and worldwide sales of energy drinks. It is a $21 billion industry, with marketing campaigns targeting youth and being sold in places that are easily accessed by this age group. [1,4] Youth are exposed to energy drink advertising on children’s websites, computer games, television, supermarkets, and sporting events. [5] Research has shown that adolescents lack maturity in key areas of the brain and are more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior, making them vulnerable to risky behaviors sometimes portrayed in energy drink marketing. Youth are attracted to energy drinks due to effective marketing, influence from peers, and lack of knowledge about their potential harmful effects. [4]
  • Negative health outcomes. Emerging evidence has linked energy drink consumption with negative health consequences in youth like risk-seeking behaviors, poor mental health, adverse cardiovascular effects, and metabolic, renal, or dental problems. [1]
  • Excessive caffeine. Too much caffeine from any beverage, particularly when several are taken in one day in sensitive individuals, can lead to anxiety, insomnia, heart problems like irregular heartbeat and elevated blood pressure, and in rare cases seizures or cardiac arrest. Some energy drinks may contain as much as 500 mg per can (the amount in 14 cans of cola). [4.6]
  • High sugar content. Because of the excessive sugar content in some energy drinks, they carry the same health risks associated with other sugar-sweetened beverages. See Sugary Drinks .
  • Dangers with alcohol. A greater danger is introduced if energy drinks are combined with alcohol, a trend largely seen in underage drinkers and associated with binge drinking. Studies suggest that drinking this type of cocktail leads to a greater alcohol intake than if just drinking alcohol alone. This may be because energy drinks increase alertness that masks the signs of inebriation, leading one to believe they can consume even more alcohol. [1] In case reports, high consumption of energy drinks—especially when mixed with alcohol—has been linked to adverse cardiovascular, psychological, and neurologic events, including fatal events. [2]
  • Lack of regulation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate energy drinks but enforces a caffeine limit of 71 mg per 12 ounces of soda; energy drinks typically contain about 120 mg per 12 ounces. However, energy drink manufacturers may choose to classify their product as a supplement to sidestep the caffeine limit. For companies that classify their energy drinks as beverages, the American Beverage Association published voluntary guidelines that advise accurate listings of caffeine content, restriction of marketing to children, and reporting of adverse events to the FDA. However, compliance to these guidelines has been found to be low. [1]
  • The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) issued a position statement on energy drinks after analyzing their safety and efficacy. (8) They concluded that consuming energy drinks 10-60 minutes before exercise can improve mental focus, alertness, anaerobic performance, and endurance in adults, largely through the effects of caffeine. However, other ingredients in these drinks require more study to demonstrate their safety and effects on performance. ISSN cautioned that higher-calorie energy drinks can lead to weight gain, and that their high glycemic load could negatively affect blood glucose and insulin levels. They discouraged use of energy drinks for children and adolescents unless under careful parental monitoring, and for people with diabetes or cardiovascular disease who could be negatively affected by the stimulant ingredients.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Nutrition and the Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness encourage pediatric health care providers to discourage the use of and discuss potential health risks of stimulant ingredients in energy drinks with youth and parents, and to limit or avoid sugar-sweetened beverages of any kind in youth due to risk of excessive calorie intake and weight gain, as well as dental erosion. [7]  

Bottom Line

Water that is calorie-free and accessible without cost to most people is the beverage of choice taken with and between meals. Energy drinks are a source of caffeine that people may choose as an alternative to coffee or tea. However, they also contain high amounts of sugar, vitamins, and herbs that may not be necessary for the average person. Energy drinks can pose a health risk in vulnerable groups including children, teenagers, pregnant women, and those with medical conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Adults who choose to consume energy drinks should check the label for caffeine content and avoid high consumption (over 200 mg of caffeine per drink); consumption in combination with alcohol should be avoided. [9] Pediatricians should discuss the use of energy drinks with their young patients and parents to ensure that all are aware of the health risks, and if used, are monitored carefully. [7]  

Sugary Drinks Sports Drinks

chemical formula for caffeine with three coffee beans on the side

  • Al-Shaar L, Vercammen K, Lu C, Richardson S, Tamez M, Mattei J. Health Effects and Public Health Concerns of Energy Drink Consumption in the United States: A Mini-Review. Front Public Health . 2017;5:225.
  • Ehlers A, Marakis G, Lampen A, Hirsch-Ernst KI. Risk assessment of energy drinks with focus on cardiovascular parameters and energy drink consumption in Europe. Food and Chemical Toxicology . 2019 Aug 1;130:109-21.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Buzz on Energy Drinks. Accessed 8/21/19.
  • Pound CM, Blair B; Canadian Paediatric Society, Nutrition and Gastroenterology Committee, Ottawa, Ontario. Energy and sports drinks in children and adolescents. Paediatr Child Health . 2017 Oct;22(7):406-410.
  • De Sanctis V, Soliman N, Soliman AT, Elsedfy H, Di Maio S, El Kholy M, Fiscina B. Caffeinated energy drink consumption among adolescents and potential health consequences associated with their use: a significant public health hazard. Acta Biomed . 2017 Aug 23;88(2):222-231.
  • Wiggers D, Asbridge M, Baskerville NB, Reid JL, Hammond D. Exposure to Caffeinated Energy Drink Marketing and Educational Messages among Youth and Young Adults in Canada. Int J Environ Res Public Health . 2019 Feb 21;16(4).
  • Schneider MB, Benjamin HJ. Sports drinks and energy drinks for children and adolescents: Are they appropriate? Pediatrics . 2011;127(6):1182–9.
  • Campbell B, Wilborn C, La Bounty P, Taylor L, Nelson MT, Greenwood M, Ziegenfuss TN, Lopez HL, Hoffman JR, Stout JR, Schmitz S, Collins R, Kalman DS, Antonio J, Kreider RB. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: energy drinks. J Int Soc Sports Nutr . 2013 Jan 3;10(1):1.
  • van Dam RM, Hu FB, Willett WC. Coffee, Caffeine, and Health.  NEJM .  2020 Jul 23; 383:369-378

Last reviewed July 2020

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  • v.13(3); May-Jun 2021

Energy Drinks and Their Adverse Health Effects: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Ibrahim m. nadeem.

† Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Ajaykumar Shanmugaraj

‡ Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Seaher Sakha

Nolan s. horner, olufemi r. ayeni, associated data.

Supplemental material, sj-docx-1-sph-10.1177_1941738120949181 for Energy Drinks and Their Adverse Health Effects: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis by Ibrahim M. Nadeem, Ajaykumar Shanmugaraj, Seaher Sakha,, Nolan S. Horner, Olufemi R. Ayeni and Moin Khan in Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Energy drinks are the fastest growing product in the beverage industry. However, there is concern regarding potential for adverse effects with use.

To evaluate the reported adverse effects of energy drink consumption.

Data Sources:

The electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed were searched for relevant studies from inception to November 2019, and pertinent data were abstracted.

Study Selection:

Only clinical studies reporting adverse events after energy drink consumption were included.

Study Design:

Systematic review.

Level of Evidence:

Data extraction:.

Data regarding sample size characteristics, energy drink characteristics, comparators, and all adverse events were extracted in duplicate and recorded.

A total of 32 studies and 96,549 individuals were included. Frequently reported adverse events in the pediatric population were insomnia (35.4%), stress (35.4%), and depressive mood (23.1%). Frequently reported adverse events in the adult population were insomnia (24.7%), jitteriness/restlessness/shaking hands (29.8%), and gastrointestinal upset (21.6%). Alcohol mixed with energy drinks significantly reduced the likelihood of sedation effects but increased the likelihood of stimulatory effects. Energy drink consumption significantly increased the odds of insomnia (OR, 5.02; 95% CI, 1.72-14.63) and jitteriness/activeness (OR, 3.52; 95% CI, 1.28-9.67) compared with the control group.


The authors recommend that individuals avoid frequent energy drink consumption (5-7 energy drinks/week) and avoid co-consumption with alcohol; increased regulatory standards should be placed in the sale of energy drinks, particularly with regard to the pediatric population.

Energy drinks are beverages formulated to improve mental and physical stimulation. Energy-enhancing ingredients, such as caffeine, taurine, herbal extracts, sugar, and B vitamins are commonly used in energy drinks. 17 Energy drinks, as well as sports drinks and nutraceutical drinks, are a form of functional beverage. 17 Sports drinks are typically formulated to prevent dehydration, supply carbohydrates, provide electrolytes, and be highly palatable, and they typically do not contain caffeine. They are generally designed to be consumed before or during exercise. 12 Nutraceutical beverages generally contain bioactive compounds such as concentrated extracts of fruits, vegetables, teas, or herbs and are designed to promote and enhance health. 43 Energy drinks may overlap into the other 2 categories depending on their ingredient composition. 17

Energy drinks first appeared in Europe and Asia in the 1960s. 17 , 41 Since its inception, the popularity of energy drinks has grown exponentially, with about 500 new brands launched worldwide in 2006. This represented a 240% increase in sales between 2004 and 2009. 3 , 10 , 41 Energy drinks are the fastest growing product in the beverage industry since bottled water. 17

The regulation of energy drinks has been challenging. The absence of regulatory oversight has resulted in aggressive marketing of energy drinks targeted primarily toward young adults. 27 , 41 Malinauskas et al 24 found that approximately half of college students reported consuming at least 1 energy drink per month to compensate for lack of sleep, increase energy, or mix with alcohol while partying. Several countries are now regulating the labeling, distribution, and sales of energy drinks containing significant quantities of caffeine. However, these regulatory measures differ between countries. 41

Caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine) is a naturally found alkaloid. After ingestion, it is rapidly and completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream and is readily distributed throughout the entire body. The most important mechanism of action of caffeine is the antagonism of adenosine receptors, which results in the release of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin in the brain and the increase of circulating catecholamines. 29 A significant adverse effect of energy drinks is the risk of caffeine intoxication. 5 Common features of caffeine intoxication include restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, diuresis, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, rambling flow of thought and speech, cardiac arrhythmias, periods of inexhaustibility, and psychomotor agitation. 5 In overdose cases, hypertension, hypotension, arrhythmia, and seizures have been reported as a result of caffeine intoxication, which may result in death. 47

Although there is published literature reviewing the effects of individual ingredients of energy drinks, there is a lack of evidence evaluating the potential adverse effects of energy drink consumption. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate and report potential adverse health effects after consumption of energy drinks.

A systematic review was conducted following the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement. 28 A literature search was conducted using 3 electronic medical databases—PubMed, EMBASE, and MEDLINE—from inception to the second week of November 2019, to identify all relevant studies related to adverse effects of energy drinks. Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and EMTREE terms were utilized in various combinations to increase search sensitivity. References of included studies were also reviewed for additional relevant references that met the inclusion criteria.

Studies were included in this systematic review if they were (1) level 1 to 4 evidence published in English, (2) included human patients of any age, (3) evaluated the use of energy drinks, and (4) reported adverse effects after consumption of energy drinks. Exclusion criteria included literature reviews, conference proceedings, expert opinions, case reports, technique guides, nonhuman studies, cadaveric or biomechanical studies, clinical studies that did not evaluate energy drinks, and studies in which adverse effects were not reported. The Dietary Supplement and Non-prescription Drug Consumer Protection Act defined a serious adverse event as one that results in death, a life-threatening experience, inpatient hospitalization, a persistent or significant disability or incapacity, a congenital anomaly or birth defect, or requires medical or surgical intervention. 38 All serious and nonserious adverse events were included. The adverse events were grouped into one of the following categories for ease of reporting and comparison among studies: (1) cardiorespiratory events, (2) gastrointestinal events, (3) immune responses, (4) musculoskeletal events, (5) neurological events, (6) physiological events, (7) psychological events, and (8) renal-related events.

A list of citations was compiled from the literature search and duplicates were removed. Systematic screening was performed in duplicate by 2 independent reviewers from title to full-text screening stages. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus between the 2 reviewers. If a consensus could not be reached, the input of a third, senior reviewer was used to determine the final eligibility of the study. Interrater agreement was calculated using Cohen kappa coefficient (κ). 26

Data were extracted in duplicate by 2 independent reviewers and recorded in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (Version 2016; Microsoft Corp). Data regarding authors, year of publication, study design, level of evidence, sample size characteristics, active ingredients, co-ingestants, and all adverse events were extracted. The primary outcome was adverse events after consumption of energy drinks.

Quality of included clinical studies was appraised using the Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies (MINORS) tool. 44 Quality was appraised in duplicate by 2 independent reviewers, and discrepancies were resolved by consensus between the 2 reviewers.

A Cohen κ statistic was used to evaluate interreviewer agreement at all screening stages. Agreement was categorized a priori. Agreement was characterized as follows: κ of 0.81 to 0.99 as excellent agreement, κ of 0.61 to 0.80 as substantial agreement, κ of 0.41 to 0.60 as moderate agreement, κ of 0.21 to 0.40 as fair agreement, and κ value of 0.20 or less as slight agreement. 26

Because of differences of physiology, subgroup analyses were conducted in the pediatric and the adult population. Pediatric studies were defined as studies that reported adverse events in populations less than 19 years of age, and adult studies were defined as studies that reported adverse events in populations greater than 18 years of age.

Meta-analyses were conducted on adverse events that were reported in at least 3 or more randomized controlled trials. Review Manager 5.3 (The Cochrane Collaboration, 2014) was used to perform the meta-analysis. Dichotomous data were presented as odds ratios (ORs) with a 95% CI. The χ 2 and I 2 statistics were used to measure the heterogeneity of results within the included studies. P < 0.05 was considered significant for the χ 2 test. The I 2 test was categorized as follows: 0.0%-24.9% to indicate no heterogeneity, 25.0%-49.9% to indicate low heterogeneity; 50.0%-74.9% to indicate moderate heterogeneity; 75.0%-100.0% to indicate high heterogeneity. Additionally, the random-effects model was used due to expected clinical heterogeneity.


The search strategy initially identified 2911 titles for screening. After elimination of duplicates, 1946 titles and abstracts were screened. After the full-text review of 603 studies, 32 met our inclusion criteria. There was substantial agreement between reviewers at the titles and abstract screening stage (κ = 0.781; 95% CI, 0.749-0.812) and at the full-text screening stage (κ = 0.702; 95% CI, 0.581-0.822) ( Figure 1 ).

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Object name is 10.1177_1941738120949181-fig1.jpg

PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) scheme of retrieved literature.

Study Characteristics

All 32 included studies were published between 2007 and 2018, of which 20 (62.5%) were published in the past 5 years (2015-2018). There were 7 studies 1 , 2 , 6 , 14 , 16 , 23 , 32 that were of level 1 evidence, 1 study 45 of level 2 evidence, and 24 studies 4 , 7 - 9 , 11 , 13 , 15 , 18 - 22 , 24 , 25 , 30 , 31 , 33 - 37 , 39 , 40 , 42 of level 4 evidence. There were 13 comparative 1 , 2 , 6 , 11 , 14 - 16 , 20 , 22 , 23 , 32 , 34 , 36 and 19 noncomparative studies. 4 , 7 - 9 , 13 , 18 , 19 , 21 , 24 , 25 , 30 , 31 , 33 , 35 , 37 , 39 , 40 , 42 , 45 Among the comparative studies, 7 1 , 2 , 6 , 14 , 16 , 23 , 32 were randomized and 6 11 , 15 , 20 , 22 , 34 , 36 were cross-sectional in design. The mean MINORS score for comparative studies was 18.8 ± 3.0 out of 24, and the MINORS score for noncomparative studies was 9.53 ± 2.35 out of 16, indicating a fair quality of evidence. A total of 96,549 individuals who consumed energy drinks were included. The mean age was 15.2 years (range, 11-63 years), and 52.1% (49,219/94,438) were male. The studies conducted by Park et al, 35 Holubcikova et al, 19 and Kim et al 21 evaluated a total of 85,981 pediatric individuals with a mean age of 14.9 years (range, 11-18 years), which skewed the cumulative mean age across all studies into the pediatric range ( Table 1 ).

Study characteristics of included studies, in order of publication date

MINORS, Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies; NR, not reported; RCT, randomized controlled trial.

Energy Drink Brand, Frequency, Co-ingestants, and Reason for Consumption

The brand of energy drink consumed was reported in 8 studies. 1 , 2 , 6 , 14 , 23 , 37 , 39 , 40 The most commonly consumed energy drink reported was Red Bull (27.2%; 294/1080), followed by Monster (23.1%; 250/1080) and Full Throttle (7.1%; 77/1080). Frequency of consumption was reported in 15 studies. 4 , 7 , 8 , 13 , 15 , 19 , 21 , 22 , 30 , 31 , 33 , 35 , 37 , 40 , 42 Among 92,006 individuals reporting the frequency of energy drink consumption, 76.7% reported <1 energy drink/week (70,597/92,006) 7 , 8 , 13 , 22 ( Figure 2 ). Co-ingestants were reported in 13 studies. 2 , 9 , 11 , 15 , 18 , 20 , 25 , 30 , 31 , 33 , 36 , 37 , 40 Among a total of 6796 individuals evaluated, 3232 reported co-ingestants (47.6%), with mixed alcohol use being the most frequent (44.6%; 3030/6796) ( Figure 3 ). Reasons for energy drink consumption were reported in 12 studies. 4 , 9 , 18 , 24 , 25 , 30 , 31 , 33 , 34 , 39 , 40 , 42 The most common reasons for energy drink consumption were to increase energy/relieve fatigue (24.5%; 2640/10757), to stay awake or to counter insufficient sleep (15.7%; 1694/10,757), and for academic-related reasons (eg, for concentration during studies; 14.1%; 1520/10,757).

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Frequencies of energy drink consumption (n = 92,006). ED, energy drinks.

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Co-ingestants reported with consumption of energy drinks (n = 6796). AmED, alcohol mixed with energy drinks.

Appendix Table A1 (available in the online version of this article) summarizes all energy drink brands, frequency, co-ingestants, and reasons for consumption across all included studies.

Adverse Events

All reported adverse events in the 32 included studies can be found in Appendix Table A2 (available online) . Elevated heart rate (tachycardia) was the most frequently reported cardiorespiratory event (26.2%; 1016/3878), followed by heart palpitations (20.0%; 853/4255), and chest pain (10.3%; 240/2340). Gastrointestinal events include abdominal pain/stomachache (14.6%; 1822/12497) and gastrointestinal upset, which includes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (18.7%; 705/3774). An allergic reaction was reported in 1.9% (12/620). A cumulative rate of 14.0% of individuals reported either muscle tension, pain, soreness, twitching, and/or backache (1400/9979). Headaches were the most frequently reported neurological event (18.4%; 3191/17,331), followed by dizziness (12.3%; 1290/10,093), and tremors (11.4%; 508/4449). Frequently reported physiological events include insomnia/sleeping-related symptoms (34.5%; 29,445/85,373), jitteriness/restlessness/shaking hands (25.1%; 1164/4631), and jolt and crash episodes (22.6%; 900/3979). Frequently reported psychological events were stress (35.4%; 24,114/68,133), depressive mood (23.0%; 17,817/77,317), and suicidal ideation/plan/attempt (19.8%; 15,278/77,004). Increased urination was the most frequently reported renal event (13.0%; 381/2945), followed by kidney pain (0.8%; 2/258).

Subgroup Analyses of Adverse Events in the Pediatric and Adult Populations

Table 2 lists all adverse events after energy drink consumption that were reported in the pediatric, adult, and total population. Figure 4 shows the rates of the most frequently reported adverse event per organ system in all 3 populations. Formal statistical analyses and meta-analyses were not conducted due to lack of comparative studies between pediatric and adult populations.

Reported adverse events after consumption of energy in the pediatric, adult, and total population, in order of frequency in total population

GI, gastrointestinal; MSK, musculoskeletal; NR, not reported.

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Rates of the most frequently reported adverse event per organ system in the pediatric, adult, and total populations. GI, gastrointestinal; MSK, musculoskeletal.

A total of 10 studies evaluating a total of 89,836 individuals reported adverse events after energy drink consumption in the pediatric population (age range, 11-19 years). 2 , 8 , 13 , 19 , 21 , 22 , 25 , 30 , 33 , 35 Palpitations were the most frequently reported cardiorespiratory adverse event (17.5%; 174/995), followed by chest pain (19.6%; 154/786), dyspnea (17.1%; 134/784), and tachycardia (12.5%; 127/1016). Frequently reported gastrointestinal events were abdominal pain (14.5%; 1691/11,637), low appetite (17.3%; 256/1483), and gastrointestinal upset (9.3%; 83/893). A cumulative rate of 14.4% of individuals reported muscle soreness or backache (1266/8803). Headaches were the most frequently reported neurological event (20.9%; 2501/11,972), followed by dizziness (10.0%; 885/8875) and tremors (8.1%; 130/1606). Frequently reported physiological events were insomnia/sleeping-related symptoms (35.4%; 28,371/80,173) followed by weakness (28.9%; 172/596) and dehydration (20.8%; 123/592). Increased urination was the only renal related adverse event reported (16.4%; 97/592). Adverse immune responses were not reported in the pediatric population. Stress, depressive mood, and suicidal ideation/plan/attempt were the most frequently reported psychological adverse events with cumulative rates of 35.4% (24,054/68,043), 23.1% (17,757/76,859), and 19.8% (15,278/77,004), respectively. Kim et al 21 reported that rates of suicidal ideation and attempts in participants who consumed energy drinks more than once daily were higher relative to those who consumed 3 to 6 and 1 to 2 times weekly. Park et al 35 reported that energy drink intake was significantly associated with suicide plan and suicide attempt, with more frequent use of energy drinks (≥5 times/week) conferring a higher risk than with less frequent use (1-4 times/week).

A total of 14 studies evaluating a total of 3356 individuals reported adverse events after energy drink consumption in the adult population (age range, 18-63 years). Palpitations were the most frequently reported cardiorespiratory adverse event (20.7%; 578/2788), followed by tachycardia (56.6%; 558/986) and chest pain (4.9%; 70/1424). Frequently reported gastrointestinal events were gastrointestinal upset (21.6%; 604/2793), increased salivation (14%; 49/350), and abdominal pain (7.6%; 26/340). Allergic reactions were reported in 0.4% of individuals (1/258). A cumulative rate of 10.3% of individuals reported muscle soreness or backache (105/1018). Dizziness was the most frequently reported neurological event (35.0%; 395/1130), followed by headaches (13.6%; 392/2889) and slurred speech (32.0%; 355/1110). Frequently reported physiological events were insomnia/sleeping-related symptoms (24.7%; 767/3109) followed by jitteriness/restlessness/shaking hands (29.8%; 730/2447) and jolt and crash episodes (32.9%; 448/1362). Agitation/anxiety/nervousness, irritability, stress, and depressive mood were the most frequently reported psychological events with rates of 18.7% (331/1771), 9.6% (62/643), 66.7% (60/90), and 13.1% (60/458), respectively. Suicidal ideation/plan/attempt was not reported in the adult population. Increased urination was the more frequently reported renal-related event (13.6%; 37/273).

Randomized Controlled Trials Evaluating Energy Drinks Versus Control

Of the total, 7 studies conducted randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of energy drinks compared with a control. 1 , 2 , 6 , 14 , 16 , 23 , 32 Controls included water, a nonenergy caffeinated drink, a decaffeinated shot, and Canada Dry Gingerale (caffeine- and taurine-free). 6 , 16 , 23 , 32 Meta-analyses were conducted on the following adverse events: (1) headaches, (2) insomnia, (3) jitteriness/activeness, (4) tachycardia/palpitations, (5) muscular pain, (6) anxiety/nervousness, and (7) abdominal pain. Statistical analyses showed that energy drinks significantly increased the odds of insomnia (OR, 5.02; 95% CI, 1.72-14.63) and jitteriness/activeness (OR, 3.52; 95% CI, 1.28-9.67) compared with the control group ( P < 0.05). The odds of headaches (OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 0.52-2.98), tachycardia/palpitations (OR, 4.84; 95% CI, 0.88-26.56), muscular pain (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 0.55-3.50), anxiety/nervousness (OR, 1.90; 95% CI, 0.28-12.89), and abdominal pain (OR, 3.66; 95% CI, 0.69-19.39) were greater in the energy drink group compared with the control group, but the results were not significant ( Figure 5 ).

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Meta-analysis forest plots evaluating the odds of (a) headaches, (b) insomnia, (c) jitteriness/activeness, (d) tachycardia/palpitations, (e) muscular pain, (f) anxiety/nervousness, and (g) abdominal pain with energy drink consumption compared with control. M-H, Mantel-Haenszel test.

Alcohol Mixed With Energy Drinks Versus Alcohol Alone

Three cross-sectional studies compared adverse events after consumption of alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) and of alcohol alone 15 , 34 , 36 ( Appendix Table A3 available online ). Droste et al 15 and Peacock et al 36 conducted within-participant comparisons and reported that the odds of experiencing several physiological and psychological stimulant adverse effects were significantly greater during the AmED sessions compared with alcohol-only sessions. However, the odds of experiencing several physiological and psychological sedation outcomes were significantly greater in the alcohol-only sessions compared with AmED sessions. 15 , 36 O’Brien et al 34 conducted a cross-sectional study on 4271 college students (AmED, n = 697; alcohol only, n = 2189; nondrinkers, n = 1351) and reported that students who reported consuming AmED had significantly higher prevalence of alcohol-related consequences. These consequences included being physically hurt or injured (OR, 2.25; 95% CI, 1.70-2.96), riding with an intoxicated driver (OR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.81-2.68), taking advantage of another sexually (OR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.34-3.55), requiring medical treatment (OR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.24-3.80), and being taken advantage of sexually (OR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.23-2.55). 34

This systematic review evaluated many relevant topics regarding energy drink consumption that have not been discussed in recent literature. Although relatively high rates of adverse events were reported, very few met the criteria to be considered a serious adverse event. According to the Dietary Supplement and Non-prescription Drug Consumer Protection Act, the definition of a serious adverse event included requiring medical attention. 38 Only 3 studies reported the proportion of individuals who required medical attention. 9 , 21 , 34 Among 9816 individuals, 165 required medical attention (1.7%). It is also important to note that reported adverse events after energy drink consumption do not necessarily reflect a causal relationship and many of the studies lacked control groups. This meta-analysis demonstrates that energy drinks significantly increased the odds of insomnia and jitteriness/activeness compared with the control group ( P < 0.05). Additionally, the odds of headaches, tachycardia/palpitations, muscular pain, anxiety/nervousness, and abdominal pain were greater in the energy drink group compared with the control group, but the results were not significant.

Many of the adverse effects of energy drinks are related to caffeine intoxication, a clinical syndrome included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , fifth edition. 5 Common features of caffeine intoxication include restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, diuresis, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, rambling flow of thought and speech, cardiac arrhythmias, periods of inexhaustibility, and psychomotor agitation. 5 Nawrot et al 29 concluded that among the healthy adult population, a moderate daily caffeine intake of ≤400 mg (equivalent to 6.5 mg/kg per day for a 65-kg person) was not associated with any adverse events. 29 Energy drinks can vary widely in caffeine content, ranging from 50 to 505 mg per can or bottle. 41

The most commonly reported energy drink consumption frequency was <1 energy drinks/week (76.4%; 70,597/92,368), followed by ≥1 energy drinks/week (20.5%; 18,942/92,368) and >1 energy drinks/day (1.2%; 1138/92,368). Several studies reported increased risk of various adverse effects as energy drink consumption increased. The rates of suicidal ideation and attempts were significantly higher in participants who consumed energy drinks more than once a day, followed by those who consumed 3 to 6 drinks a week and 1 to 2 drinks a week. 21 Similarly, Park et al 35 found that after adjusting for confounders, participants who used energy drinks frequently (≥5 energy drinks/week) were more likely to experience adverse effects, including sleep dissatisfaction, perceived stress, and persistent depressive mood compared with moderate and infrequent energy drink consumers. 35

Alcohol was the most frequent co-ingestant. A meta-analysis analyzing the consumption of alcohol mixed with energy drinks revealed that consumers who mixed alcohol with energy drinks drank significantly more alcohol than alcohol-only consumers, a finding consistent with Peacock et al 36 and Verster et al. 46 Additionally, the stimulant effects of energy drinks may counteract the depressant effects of alcohol, as sedation outcomes were found to be significantly less in the group that mixed alcohol with energy drinks compared with the alcohol-only group. 15 However, mixing alcohol with energy drinks does not affect subjective intoxication. 46

This review found that the majority of energy drink consumers were younger than 19 years of age, and the most common reasons for energy drink consumption were to increase energy/relieve fatigue, to stay awake or to counter insufficient sleep, and for academic-related reasons. In the pediatric population in particular, stress, depressive mood, and suicidal ideation/plan/attempt were the most frequently reported psychological adverse events, while agitation/anxiety/nervousness, irritability, and stress were the most frequently reported psychological events in the adult population. Suicidal ideation/plan/attempt was not reported in the adult population and is an area of future research. It is important to note that this review did not conduct statistical analyses of adverse events between pediatric and adult populations due to lack of comparative studies. Therefore, further research comparing the adverse effects between the 2 populations is required to provide definitive conclusions.

Based on the findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis, recommendations that can be made are: (1) individuals should avoid frequent energy drink consumption (5-7 energy drinks/week), (2) individuals should avoid co-consumption with alcohol, and (3) increased regulatory standards should be placed in the sale of energy drinks, particularly with regard to the pediatric population.

The strengths of this systematic review include a search strategy using multiple large medical databases, screening and data extraction conducted in duplicate with a high level of interrater agreement, a large sample size, and a mean MINORS score indicating fair quality of evidence of included studies. This systematic review is limited by the level of evidence of the included studies, as the studies were primarily cross-sectional in design. Additionally, the majority of the population was younger than 19 years, which greatly skewed the mean age of all included individuals into the pediatric range. Last, significant heterogeneity was present between included studies, particularly with regard to brand of energy drink, active ingredients, age, and the reported adverse events. Future research in this area should include large randomized controlled trials with baseline equivalence of characteristics.

Energy drink consumption significantly increases the odds of insomnia and jitteriness/activeness compared with the control group. Increased frequency of energy drink consumption and co-ingestion of energy drinks with alcohol significantly increased the risk of adverse events. Recommendations that can be made are avoiding frequent energy drink consumption (5-7 energy drinks/week), avoiding co-consumption with alcohol, and increasing regulatory standards in the sale of energy drinks, particularly with regard to the pediatric population.

Supplemental Material

The following author declared potential conflicts of interest: M.K. is a paid associate editor for Sports Health .

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How Dangerous Are Energy Drinks?

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Michela Buttignol / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • Energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine, sugar, and a variety of other legal stimulants.
  • Experts warn that energy drinks can increase blood pressure and cause irregular heart rhythms.
  • Combining alcohol and energy drinks may cause further health problems and increase the risk of binge drinking.

Energy drinks are one of the most popular dietary supplements in America—only second to multivitamins for some age groups. In fact, over 30% of teens aged 12–17 consume energy drinks on a regular basis.

Experts warn that these highly caffeinated, often sugary, drinks may be associated with increased blood pressure, weight gain, headaches, anxiety, dental problems, dehydration, and heart disease.

Despite the risks, energy drinks continue to grow in popularity. Celebrities promote these drinks on TikTok and global energy drink sales are expected to top $53 billion by the end of this year, with a 7.1% increase projected by 2027.

Why So Popular?

Since energy drinks are known to contain high levels of caffeine, they are associated with mental and physical boosts. They are often used by athletes to increase performance and by students to enhance study sessions.

How Much Caffeine Is Safe?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day is safe for most adults. That’s the amount you’d get from about 4 cups of coffee or around a dozen 12-ounce cans of Coca-Cola .

For young adults, the caffeine recommendations are much less.

“If an adolescent is in taking caffeine, the maximum that they should intake per day is 100 milligrams,” Priscilla Mpasi, MD , a pediatrician and region II chairperson with the National Medical Association, told Verywell.

Energy Drink Caffeine Content

  • Red Bull : An 8.4-ounce can contains 80 mg of caffeine
  • Monster : A 16-ounce can contains 160 mg of caffeine
  • Celsius Essential Energy : A 16-ounce can contains 200 mg of caffeine
  • Bang : A 16-ounce can contains 300 mg of caffeine

Many energy drinks contain well over 100 mg of caffeine, which is one reason why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against any child or adolescent consuming them.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), 16-oz energy drinks contain anywhere from 70 to 240 mg of caffeine on average. Bang, a fast-growing company that has blown up on TikTok , offers 300 mg of caffeine in its 16-oz energy drink.  This product even comes with a warning label stating that it is “not recommended” for children under 18 and should not be consumed with any other caffeine-containing products.

Other Ingredients Are Problematic, Too

While high levels of caffeine are a major reason experts caution against consuming energy drinks, Mpasi said she is also concerned about the other additives in energy drinks.

“You have caffeine, but there’s other legal stimulants on the market such as guarana, taurine, L-carnitine, that can be in the energy drink. And just a glance at the label or even the front of the marketing, that is not easily visible,” she said.

Experts say that not enough is known about these other additives to make recommendations for safe levels of consumption.

Energy Drinks May Contribute to Heart Disease

Martha Gulati, MD, MS , a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, told Verywell that one of the biggest concerns with energy drinks are irregular heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias, that can occur due to “hyperstimulation of the heart.”

Arrhythmias can impact the amount of blood pumped throughout the body, making you feel faint. Over time, untreated arrhythmias could lead to more serious or fatal conditions.

“The other thing that I think people underestimate is the effect of energy drinks on blood pressure,” Gulati said.

A randomized control trial from 2019 found that energy drinks elevated blood pressure in otherwise healthy young adults. And another study published this year connected energy drinks with hypertension in children and teenagers.

Gulati said that energy drinks might pose an even greater risk for people who already have hypertension since these drinks can increase their blood pressure further on a regular basis. However, she said many people don’t realize they have hypertension, especially if they are young.

Long-term energy drink consumption could lead to heart failure or heart attacks, but experts say it is hard to test these associations with randomized control trials. This lack of evidence leads experts to broadly caution against energy drinks.

“I think that people should be careful with what they consume,” Gulati said.

Alcohol Makes Things Worse

In addition to the concerns about consuming energy drinks on their own, experts also caution against combining alcohol with energy drinks.

Mpasi told Verywell that alcohol acts as a depressant while energy drinks are a stimulant, which can confuse your body’s neurotransmitters.

“Your brain is going to be getting a lot of different signals—you don’t know how your brain and your body will respond to drinking alcohol and an energy drink together,” she said.

In 2010, the FDA cracked down on caffeinated alcoholic beverages, which led companies like Four Loko to reformulate their recipe and remove the caffeine, guarana, and taurine from their products.

However, Jägerbombs, Vodka Redbulls, and other energy drink cocktails are still sold in bars and mixed at home. The CDC reported in 2017 that almost 32% of adults aged 19–28 consumed an energy drink with alcohol in the previous year.

Gulati told Verywell that combining alcohol with caffeine means it will take longer for the caffeine to leave your body.

“That means you’re stimulated for an even longer time than maybe you would be if you took either of them separately,” she said.

Experts say this additional stimulation can lead to people consuming more alcohol than they might otherwise. The CDC reported that young adults who consumed alcohol and energy drinks together were more likely to binge drink than those who did not mix these substances.

It Can Be Difficult to Consume Energy Drinks Safely

While a single energy drink may contain less than the 400 mg of caffeine considered safe by the FDA, people who rely on these drinks might find themselves consuming more than one to feel the same effects.

A 2015 study of nursing students using energy drinks to stay awake while studying for exams found that some of the students consumed as many as 30 energy drinks in a week.

“The effects that they might feel early on when they take these energy drinks and feel more awake and feel more stimulated tend to wear off in time,” Gulati said.

Some athletes also use energy drinks for performance, but experts say it is important to discuss the pros and cons with a trusted healthcare provider first.

“Don’t assume food and drink manufacturers have your best interests at heart,” Gulati said. “They’re just trying to sell something to you.”

What This Means For You

In addition to caffeine and other stimulant additives, many energy drinks contain high levels of sugar. Experts say that the sugar content in energy drinks can contribute to weight gain and dental issues.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Energy drinks .

Al-Shaar L, Vercammen K, Lu C, Richardson S, Tamez M, Mattei J. Health effects and public health concerns of energy drink consumption in the united states: a mini-review .  Front Public Health . 2017;5:225. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2017.00225

Food and Drug Administration. Spilling the beans: how much caffeine is too much?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The buzz on energy drinks .

Beverage Industry . 2020 state of the beverage industry: energy drinks, mixes maintain steady growth .

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. What Is an arrhythmia?

Shah SA, Szeto AH, Farewell R, et al. Impact of high volume energy drink consumption on electrocardiographic and blood pressure parameters: a randomized trial .  J Am Heart Assoc . 2019;8(11):e011318. doi:10.1161/JAHA.118.011318

Oberhoffer FS, Li P, Jakob A, Dalla-Pozza R, Haas NA, Mandilaras G. Energy drinks: effects on blood pressure and heart rate in children and teenagers. A randomized trial .  Front Cardiovasc Med . 2022;9:862041. doi:10.3389/fcvm.2022.862041

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol and caffeine .

Kim IK, Kim KM. Energy drink consumption patterns and associated factors among nursing students: a descriptive survey study .  J Addict Nurs . 2015;26(1):24-31. doi:10.1097/JAN.0000000000000061

By Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown is a nutrition writer, educator, and culinary instructor.

The Effects of Energy Drinks

An energy drink is a beverage comprising stimulating components, normally caffeine. These constituents serve as stimulants that can influence the body’s electrolyte balance by increasing the amount of fluid that comes out as sweat (Wassef et al., 2017). Other symptoms which may arise from consuming large quantities of caffeine include migraines, insomnia, anxiousness, irritability, restlessness, stomach discomfort, irregular heartbeat, and muscular tremor (Sara, 2020). Health problems associated with these drinks are much more severe in people with high blood pressure or heart conditions (Wassef et al., 2017). Health center visits attributable to caffeine’s excessive consumption are frequently accredited to dehydration, seizures, and extremely high blood pressure.

There are laws and regulations which govern the production, distribution, and consumption of food and other products. Industries making such products should therefore be strictly regulated because the high concentration of caffeine puts younger consumers at risk of intoxication. The hazards to people’s health keep increasing as the use of this substance in food and beverages continue rising, and because of such an exponential rise in usage, strict regulation should be considered.

Energy drink firms should not be permitted to sell these beverages to minors because they can cause heart abnormalities and seizures in children. About caffeine from natural sources, most of the stimulants comprise generic drug caffeine. These cumulative sources can cause increased heartbeat and a raise in blood pressure rate (Erdemir, 2016). During and after physical activity, one can still drink mineral water instead of sports drinks, which carry extra calories which lead to obesity and tooth decay. Children are a susceptible group that needs to be protected at all costs.

It should be illegal to sell these drinks to children under the age of sixteen years. It is because they are still young, and they would not be able to regulate consumption, thus resulting in addiction. Furthermore, due to their tender age, the risks are high, and, therefore, relevant authorities should impose an age ban on these products to sixteen years and below.

These drinks should have a warning label and should sensitize and educate people on the risks associated with excessive consumption of such beverages. It should be done in good faith, as it will help save many people from diseases and other health complications. By doing so, the companies would be in a position where they can absolve themselves from any blame should anything go wrong.

Erdemir, U. (2016). Effects of energy and sports drinks on tooth structures and restorative materials. World Journal of Stomatology , 5 (1), 1. Web.

Sara, C. (2020). The cardiovascular effects of energy drinks. Clinical Cardiology and Cardiovascular Interventions , 3 (1), 1-5. Web.

Wassef, B., Kohansieh, M., & Makaryus, A. (2017). Effects of energy drinks on the cardiovascular system. World Journal of Cardiology , 9 (11), 796-806. Web.

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The Buzz on Energy Drinks

  • A beverage that typically contains large amounts of caffeine, added sugars, other additives, and legal stimulants such as guarana, taurine, and L-carnitine. These legal stimulants can increase alertness, attention, energy, as well as increase blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. 1-4
  • These drinks are often used by students to provide an extra boost in energy. However, the stimulants in these drinks can have a harmful effect on the nervous system. 5

In 2011, 1,499 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years went to the emergency room for an energy drink related emergency. 6

Some of the dangers of energy drinks include 1 :

  • Dehydration (not enough water in your body).
  • Heart complications (such as irregular heartbeat and heart failure).
  • Anxiety (feeling nervous and jittery).
  • Insomnia (unable to sleep).
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics states that caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diet of children and adolescents. 9
  • Teachers and other school staff can educate students about the danger of consuming too much caffeine, including energy drinks.
  • Coaches can educate athletes about the difference between energy drinks and sports drinks and potential dangers of consuming highly caffeinated beverages.
  • School nutrition staff can provide only healthy beverages such as fat-free/low-fat milk, water, and 100% juice if extra items (i.e., a la carte items) are sold in the cafeteria.
  • Parents, school staff, and community members can join the school or district wellness committee that sets the policies for health and wellness and establish or revise nutrition standards to address the sale and marketing of energy drinks in school settings.
  • Everyone can model good behavior by not consuming energy drinks in front of kids.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adolescents do not consume energy drinks, yet between 30–50% reported consuming energy drinks. 1,3
  • The National Federation of State High School Associations recommends that young athletes should not use energy drinks for hydration, and information about the potential risk should be widely distributed to young athletes. 10

The Buzz on Energy Drinks Infographic image

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Home / Essay Samples / Food / Energy Drink / Pros & Cons Of Energy Drinks

Pros & Cons Of Energy Drinks

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  • Topic: Energy Drink , Society

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Typical composition of energy drinks

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