Energy drinks are the fastest growing segment of the beverage market, and one in three teens consumes them daily, according to lfpress.com. But an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicates that long-term use of caffeine-loaded energy drinks can have significant repercussions on health.
Consumers, particularly young people, seem to be convinced that energy drinks are like sports drinks or health drinks, possibly in part because of extreme sports in energy drink commercials. But all they really offer is a quick caffeine hit, in doses that can be dangerous over the long term, according to the article in JAMA.
One cardiologist reports that energy drinks contain excessive amounts of caffeine and can raise heart and blood pressure, even leading to arrhythmias and death. Caffeine has been linked to elevated blood pressure. And a recent study has showed that both sports and energy drinks wreak absolute havoc on teeth.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration has been tracking consumption of energy drinks, and they report that energy drink-related emergency room visits jumped from just around 1,100 in 2005 to more than 13,000 in 2009.
Last year, a Health Canada Panel recommended that the beverages currently known an energy drinks be relabeled "stimulant drug containing drinks" and sold only through pharmacies.