Energy drink consumption may pose a threat to the health of the public in more ways then imagined. They are the drinks that companies state can enhance mental and physical performance and many people consume them. There are numerous individuals that think the beverages are harmless. However, in a new research report, scientists from the World Health Organization (WHO) claim that growing ingestion of energy beverages might create a hazard to public health.
The total visits to emergency rooms connected to energy drinks doubled between the years of 2008 and 2012, going from 10,070 to 20,780. The research group, which included Joao Breda of the WHO’s National Office located in Europe, printed their report in the journal Frontiers in Public Health. The sales of energy beverages have went up in the past couple of years. In the United States, sales rose by 65 percent between 2010 and 2013. It is believed that nearly 70 percent of teenagers, 35 percent of adults and nearly 20 percent of children under the age of 10 consume the drinks.
Such statistics have elevated alarm among the scientific community about the safety of energy drinks, explained the investigators. They stated that even with such data, there have been limited studies held on the dangers connected with the rise in the consumption in energy beverages, especially with younger individuals. Because of this, the group decided to look at all accessible research which was over the health hazards of energy drink consumption and attempted to figure out some suggestions to aid in the reduction of these risks.
They explained that caffeine is the chief ingredient in energy drinks, and is what causes the most health worries. One lone can might have 500 mg of caffeine. That is equal to five cups of coffee. This means energy beverages can lead to caffeine intoxication. Energy drinks can lead to over 40 percent of total caffeine consumption in children, nearly 15 percent in teenagers and almost 10 percent in adults, all from just one can. These are numbers that create concern. An excessive amount of caffeine ingestion could lead to many different health problems, such as nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, convulsions, hypertension, psychosis and even death.
It has also been found that teenagers are consuming energy beverages with alcohol in high amounts. Apparently large quantities of caffeine inside the drinks lessens drowsiness without weakening any alcohol effects. This causes a person to be wide awake and also feel the full effects of the alcohol. The individual is able to stay awake a longer period of time to also ingest even more alcohol as well.
The National Poison Data System, located in the United States, explained that nearly 45 percent of the 4,860 annual calls going into poison control centers that involve energy drinks also had to do with alcohol. The research group pointed to studies that revealed mixing energy beverages with alcohol also seemed to raise the chance of other risky behaviors like illegal drug use, smoking and risky sexual behavior. These events happen without energy beverages but it appeared that the drinks caused a spike in these types of occurrences. Because of that, energy drink consumption might cause a threat to public health in more ways than imagined.
By Kimberly Ruble