There are so many warnings about the risks of energy drinks that it’s getting harder even for people who consume them to look the other way.
Reports continue to roll out warning consumers not to believe the marketing campaigns that tout these drinks as healthy and energizing. They are in fact dangerous, and can cause serious medical ailments or hazardous behaviors if you consume too many of them.
Aussies Are Alarmed
In September 2016, the Australian edition of the Huffington Post published an article reiterating that yes, energy drinks really are that bad for you.
According to the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), energy drinks can be as harmful as regular soft drinks, if not more so. A single can of Red Bull contains 37 grams of sugar, which puts it way over the suggested daily limit of 25 grams. The combination of sugar, caffeine, and mysterious ingredients like guarana and taurine can be a disaster waiting to happen.
Australian dietitian Robbie Clark told HuffPost Australia:
“Adverse reactions and toxicity from high energy drinks stem primarily from their caffeine content. This may be worse for young adults and adolescents who are particularly attracted to energy drinks because of effective product marketing, peer influence and a lack of knowledge of the potential harmful effects.”
He continued, “Since there is currently no age restriction on the sale of these drinks, frequent and high consumption of energy drinks for younger people can cause a number of health problems.”
Mr. Clarke went on to stress that coffee is a safer pick-me-up since it inherently contains no sugar, and you can control your sugar intake by keeping an eye on what you add to it.
Study Suggests Energy Drinks Increase Likelihood of Driving Drunk
A surprising new study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland found that consuming energy drinks and alcohol alternately or together can increase the chance someone will drive drunk.
The study, which looked at data compiled from 1,000 college students, found that the more non-alcoholic energy drinks a person drank, the more likely they were to drive drunk. Researchers speculate that individuals who combine energy drinks with alcohol are more likely to become what’s called “wide awake drunk,” and therefore more prone to engage in risky behavior.
The researchers also suggest that aggressive energy drink marketing campaigns might contribute to the dangers of drunk driving. The ads tend to promote images of exciting, active lifestyles, which could encourage engagement in high-risk activities that can have serious consequences.
If you’re in need of an energy boost, think twice before cracking open that can. You could end up doing yourself a lot more harm than good.