Controversy continues to raged on about Red Bull and other energy drinks which rose to popularity in the late 1990s. The target population for these beverages is 18-25 years old, though there is reported increase in use among other age groups as well. The reports of increased emergency room visits due to energy drink consumption raised alarm in the early 2000s.
Possible Energy Drink Dangers
Incidence of heart problems and panic attacks began to escalate, never before seen at such a high rate for this age group. There is a multibillion dollar market for the drinks, although some brands are banned in other parts of the world; due to the recognized dangers on young consumers.
A recent study, reported in December, 2013, has frightening information about use of energy drinks and the short-term, as well as possible long-term effects. Caffeine amounts can be up to three times higher than other cafffeinated beverages like soda or coffee.
Side effects of consuming this amount of caffeine are heart palpitations, increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, and related seizures, even death.
Another report from SAMHSA, (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) shows that emergency room visits doubled in the years 2007 to 2011, reaching 20,783 for those associated with energy drinks.
Energy Drinks and Your Heart
The left ventricle of the heart is the area most often impacted by energy drinks. They create an increase on peak strain and peak systolic rates. This means that the person consuming only one energy drink is susceptible to arrhythmias, a condition of irregular heartbeat. Other conditions recognized in energy drink use are: headaches and migraines, insomnia, Type 2 diabetes, allergic reactions (possible airway constriction), irrational/erratic behavior, jittery nerves and panic or anxiety attacks.
Overconsumption of energy drinks is the real risk. While one drink may cause problems, overdose on these drinks is frequent and deadly. Anyone with high risk of cardiac problems, high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, or related health risks can have “one too many” and pay high prices for the use of these products. Other problem uses are combining energy drinks with alcohol, a very dangerous practice that is being discontinued in nightclubs and bars as related deaths increase.