Three risks energy drinks pose to teens and adolescents
When teens consume energy drinks they may suffer insomnia, addiction and cardiac arrest.
Energy drinks are very popular in Vinton, Virginia and throughout the United States. Although intended for adults, there is currently no law in place that prohibits the sale of energy drinks to children. As a result, teens and adolescents have free access to these highly caffeinated products.
Energy drinks contain powerful stimulants such as caffeine and guarana. These ingredients have been shown to cause side effects that may be unreasonably dangerous for teens and adolescents. Kids who consume energy drinks on a regular basis face the risk of insomnia, addiction and cardiac arrest:
Energy drinks are alluring to young people because of their ability to provide almost instantaneous bursts of energy and alertness. This makes them especially popular among young athletes. It also makes them a temptation to young adults who want to stay up late or cram for an exam.
Ironically, even though energy drinks are intended to increase alertness and energy levels, they can have the opposite effect for some – especially after long-term use. According to Science Daily, a recent study by Camilo José Cela University reveals one of the more surprising effects of excessive energy drink use: insomnia.
The study showed that athletes experienced increased athletic performance immediately following the consumption of energy drinks. However, within hours of competing, they began to experience increased nervousness and insomnia. Teens and young adults who are unable to get sufficient sleep face the additional risk of getting involved in car accidents or suffering other serious injuries.
According to Science Daily, a report by the University of Waterloo and Dalhousie University revealed that there is an association between energy drinks and substance abuse. Teens who suffer from depression or have substance abuse problems tend to consume energy drinks at a higher rate than their peers.
Energy drinks provide short-term mood and energy benefits. Therefore, teens with poor mental health and depression are more likely to become dependent upon them.
The heart is especially susceptible to the effect of stimulants such as caffeine and guarana, especially when consumed in large amounts. According to Brown University, popular name-brand energy drinks contain anywhere from 75 milligrams to more than 200 milligrams of caffeine in each serving. This amount of caffeine can have adverse effects on the heart.
The Huffington Post reported that a study conducted by the University of Bonn revealed the dangers of energy drinks in relation to the heart. Study participants experienced increased rates of heart contraction after consuming energy drinks. Increased heart contraction rates put significant strain on the cardiovascular system and can increase the likelihood of cardiac arrest, the researchers said.
Teens and adolescents who have weak hearts due to illness or disease may have a higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular side effects from energy drinks. Families of adolescents who have suffered from energy drink adverse side effects may want to seek help from a personal injury attorney.