Energy drinks take pride in keeping you awake during the day or night, when you need it. How does it do that? The key ingredient in energy drinks like Red bull, Rockstar is caffeine, similar to your regular soda beverage. Last year a study exhibited that “sports drinks” like Gatorade are not healthy for you and teens, owing to presence of high fructose (sugar) and salts. A new scientific literature reported in Pediatrics revealed that “energy drinks” might be detrimental for your teenager.
What did energy drink study involve?
A study was lead by Dr. Steven Lipshultz, chair of pediatrics at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Researchers reviewed 121 scientific studies, government reports and media sources on energy drinks. It is worth noticing that the energy drinks studied were different from “sports drinks”, vitamin waters and sodas.
What did energy drink literature dig up reveal?
The researchers found that the energy drinks may contain:
- 70 to 80 milligrams of caffeine per 8-oz. serving, estimated to be 2x more than many cola drinks.
- a plant that contains caffeine, Guarana, taurine (an amino acid), vitamins, herbal supplements and sweeteners.
The results of the energy drink literature dig up revealed that in the US, consumption of energy drinks in young adults and teenagers range from 30% to 50%. Dr. Lipshultz noted that “we didn’t see evidence that drinks have beneficial effects in improving energy, weight loss, stamina, athletic performance and concentration.”
Dr Lipshultz also said that the research shows that children and teens, especially those with cardiovascular, renal or liver disease, seizures, diabetes, mood and behavior disorders and hyperthyroidism, are at a higher risk for health complications from these drinks.
How are energy drink manufacturers reacting to this study?
The beverage industry has criticized the study stating that the energy drinks do...
not have caffeine more than a cup of coffee. Also, as per the industry, kids and teens are not frequent consumer of energy drinks. Maureen Storey of the American Beverage Association, stated “this literature review does nothing more than perpetuate misinformation about energy drinks, their ingredients and the regulatory process.”
She also said that government data indicate “caffeine consumed from energy drinks for those under the age of 18 is less than the caffeine derived from all other sources including soft drinks, coffee and teas.”
Red Bull, one of the most popular energy drinks, issues statement pertaining to the study “largely ignores in its conclusions the genuine, scientifically rigorous examination of energy drinks by reputable national authorities. The effects of caffeine are well-known, and as an 8.4-oz. can of Red Bull contain about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee (80 milligrams), it should be treated accordingly.”
It is obvious that the energy drink manufacturers would not agree with the findings of latest research. The findings do raise suspicion about the health benefits rather detrimental effects of energy drinks. It is responsibility of parents to a certain extent to talk to their teenagers and ask them whether they should be drinking such beverages. Consult you doctor, when in doubt and stay healthy.