Energy Drinks Negative Effects May Be More Dangerous Than We Thought

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.

Over half of young people who’ve ever had an energy drink have suffered negative side-effects as a result despite consuming less than the advised one-or-two a day, a Canadian study has found. 55% of young people aged between 12 and 24 years old surveyed reported suffering conditions including vomiting, chest pains and even seizures after having the drinks, researchers from the University of Waterloo in Ontario said.

The drinks famously have caffeine levels, and researchers believe that drinking them with alcohol or while exercising may make them even more dangerous. The risk from drinking them is so high that the researchers have called for them to be banned for sale to young people and especially children.

Lead author of the study, Professor David Hammond said: “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. The health effects from energy [drinks] could be due to different ingredients than coffee, or the ways in which they are consumed, including with alcohol or during physical activity.”

In the study, published in the the Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2,055 Canadians younger that 24 were asked about their consumption of energy drinks.

24.7% of them reported having a fast heart rate after drinking one, while 24.1% said they struggled to sleep. Other side-effects the young people noted was headaches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Not what you want when you’ve got an exam to cram for. Worryingly, 5% of those surveyed said they sought medical help after having the bevvies, while 3.6 percent reported having chest pains. 0.2% oven reported suffering seizures.

Energy drink sales are booming in the UK, having increased by 185% between 2006 and 2015. Yet there’s a growing consensus that they’re unsafe to drink due to their high caffeine content – up to 160mg per can. 105mg is the safe daily limit for young people.