Are energy drinks safe?

Excessive amounts of caffeine-containing energy drinks can have serious consequences.

According to research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Pediatrics, as many as 30 to 50 percent of consumers drinking these energy beverages are children, adolescents and young adults. Excessive amounts of caffeine can cause jitters, anxiety, a rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, seizures and even death. There have been reports of middle-school-age consumers who had to be taken to a hospital with many of the above symptoms and a teenager who even died after consuming multiple servings of an energy drink. In fact, over 45 percent of the reported cases of caffeine overdose occur in individuals under the age of 19.

In addition to the caffeine, these energy drinks can also be infused with additional ingredients such as guarana, a plant that naturally contains caffeine, taurine (an amino acid that can act as a stimulant), herbs that can elevate your blood pressure, and tons of added sugar.

Collectively, soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks are the No. 1 source of added sugars in the diets of Americans. Even more concerning, these beverages are displacing more nutrient-rich beverages such as bone-strengthening, nonfat milk or sugar-free, plain water in their diet.
Kate Geagan
Nutrition & Dietetics

Energy drinks are tempting, but some of them carry surprising health risks. In this video, nutritionist Kate Geagan talks about what to look for to choose a safe energy drink.

Yogi Cameron Alborzian
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Energy drinks are filled with unnatural substances, caffeine, refined sugar, and chemical additives. While consuming them might seem to give a boost in the moment, the lack of nourishment the body receives from them only causes it to want more of it and other malnourishing foods and drinks. The rise of energy drinks has led to a rise in obesity, chemical dependency, and generally poor health -- but not a rise in energy. To create more energy, it's ideal to eat a simple diet of natural foods in small quantities.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.