A new study shows that too often, consuming energy drinks can lead to serious health problems requiring emergency room treatment.
Emergency room visits related to energy drinks problems increased by 10 times between 2004 and 2009, says a government report released by the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
During the same time period, the popularity of energy drinks problems also rose steadily — as did the general misperception that these drinks are safe and harmless as long as they don’t mix alcohol with caffeine.
“A lot of attention has been paid to energy drinks that have alcohol in them,” comments Albert Woodward, the study’s lead author and project director of SAMHSA’s Drug Abuse Warning Network. “Everybody understands that the effects of [mixing alcohol and caffeine] can be pretty serious,” Woodward says. “But energy drinks by themselves can have adverse affects.”
The megadoses of caffeine in these energy drinks is the part of the problem. Many brands contain as much as 500mg — compared to 50 mg for a can of cola and 100 mg for a small cup of coffee. Dr. Jeffrey N. Bernstein, medical director of the Florida Poison Information Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, points out that most people aren’t aware of the dangers of high doses of caffeine, which include:
• Abnormal heart rhythms
• High blood pressure
Another concern is that product labels don’t always accurately reflect total caffeine content. That’s because producers are only required to list the amount of caffeine they add during the manufacturing of the product.
This means that naturally occurring caffeine in certain popular ingredients, such as guarana, may not show up on labels.
Health-conscious consumers would be wise to look beyond the misleading labels, and instead research reputable manufacturers of safe, health-boosting energy drinks. According to the most advanced research on integrative health and anti-aging, the best energy boosters come from botanical ingredients that banish fatigue without harming your health.
High quality natural energy drinks rely on proven ingredients that lift and sustain energy without excessive caffeine or other potentially harmful additives.