What You Need To Know About Energy Drinks

October 22, 2012 - The highly caffeinated Monster Energy Drink has been cited in five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack, according to reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating.

The reports claim that people had adverse reactions after they consumed Monster Energy Drink, which comes in 24-ounce cans and contains 240 milligrams of caffeine, or seven times the amount of the caffeine in a 12-ounce cola.

Feb 14, 2011 - UM Pediatric Researchers Publish Findings on Energy Drinks

Energy drinks may pose a risk for serious adverse health effects in some children, especially those with diabetes, seizures, cardiac abnormalities or mood and behavior disorders, according to new findings from pediatric researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

The study, “Health Effects of Energy Drinks on Children, Adolescents and YoungAdults,” was published online February 14 in the journal Pediatrics. In a review of the current literature, the authors determined that energy drinks have no therapeutic benefit to children, and both the known and unknown properties of the ingredients, combined with reports of toxicity, may put some children at risk for adverse health events.

Youth account for half of the energy drink market, and according to surveys, 30 percent to 50 percent of adolescents report consuming energy drinks. Typically, energy drinks contain high levels of stimulants such as caffeine, taurine and guarana, and safe consumption levels have not been established for most adolescents.

In the article, the authors advised that because energy drinks are frequently marketed to athletes and at-risk young adults, it is important for pediatric health care providers to screen for heavy use both alone and with alcohol, and to educate families and children at risk for energy drink overdose, which can result in seizures, stroke and even sudden death.

“Until further research establishes their safety, routine energy drinks usageby children and teen-agers should be discouraged,” said Steven E. Lipshultz, M.D., professor and chair of pediatrics, associate executive dean for child health, andsenior author of the study. “We wanted to raise awareness about the risks. Our systematic review suggests that these drinks have no benefit and should not be a part of the diet of children and teens. We need long-term research to define maximum safe doses of these beverages and the effects of chronic use, especially in at-risk populations.”

Third-year Miller School medical student Sara M. Seifert was the lead author of the study, which will be published in the March issue of Pediatrics. “Numerous reports areappearing in the popular media and there are a handful of case reports in the scientificliterature that associate energy drinks with serious adverse events,” said Seifert. “Additionally, many schools, states and countries have started regulating or banning energy drink content or sales to children, adolescents and young adults. In the face ofsuch reports, it seemed prudent to investigate the validity of such claims.”

Bottom-line – Share with your youth like I did with mine that some people are suspected of dying from use of these drinks. This will caused raised eyebrows from them. Then pick out their favorite athlete and tell them that they did not grow up using an energy drink since they weren’t around 5 years ago so if their favorite athlete didn’t need it, they don’t either.