There are energy drinks everywhere, and while once in a while probably is fine, I do want to give you a little more info so that you can decide what is right for you.
It turns out this young adult had had a bunch of energy drinks before he started feeling awful.
Energy drinks have gotten really popular with teens and other young people, but you don’t need me to tell you that. And I can see the appeal. But here is some information you need to know.
Caffeine is generally safe, but just because something is safe, that doesn’t mean there a no limits to what you can have and still have it be safe. The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends a maximum of 100 mg caffeine in a single day for teens and adolescents. Younger kids shouldn’t have caffeine regularly at all. A bunch of these energy drinks have way more caffeine than strong coffee.
Here are some examples:
Well, we already talked about the guy that had racing heart (palpitations). You can also get tremors or shakes, feeling anxious and agitated. Your stomach and intestines can get really upset. If you take enough caffeine in, you can actually dangerously affect your heart. When your heart beats too fast or in an abnormal rhythm, the blood cannot get to the heart muscle properly, and when there isn’t enough blood flow to the heart to keep up with the pumping, you can have a heart attack. Seizures are another problem with too much caffeine.
The young person we already talked about had to go to the ER. This isn’t as rare a problem as you’d think – for example, in one study looking at teens averaging 17 years old that used energy drinks for fun, more than 3/4 had unpleasant side effects that we just talked about. More than half actually were admitted to the hospital they were so sick. And of those in the hospital, the caffeinated beverages were not mixed with other substances that could be blamed for the side effects.
A side note – a lot of teens think if you have energy drinks when you drink alcohol 2 things will happen – one is that your buzz is better, and the other is that the bad affects of the alcohol are cancelled out by the caffeine in the energy drink. What is really dangerous here is when you drink a lot of alcohol, you often get sleepy and that makes you have less alcohol in one sitting. When you suck down all that caffeine, you don’t feel tired so you end up drinking more, and it is easy to get to dangerously high levels of alcohol (more on alcohol poisoning in this post HERE).
So the bottom line? Once in a while an energy drink is probably fine. You don’t want to have them regularly. You don’t want to have more than one at a time. And you really don’t want to have them at the same time you are having alcohol.
For more on caffeine, click HERE for Real Talk about Powdered Caffeine.