New research suggests that energy drinks can up the risk of kidney damage, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease in kids if they are consumed on a constant basis.
Researchers also found an association between energy drinks and higher risk of taking up alcohol or drugs or being involved in anti-social behavior like violence and accidents.
Study authors urge states to regulate the beverages and place a ban on the sales to minors. There should also be a cap on the caffeine content to prevent the caffeine-related health issues.
The study does not mention any brand of energy drinks but the most popular among teens and kids are Monster and Red Bull. One can contains eight times the amount of caffeine in a regular cup of coffee, or 100 mg.
Adults’ daily caffeine intake is 400 mg. Very few studies have analyzed the safe amount of caffeine for teens.
Dr. Josiemer Mattei underlined that energy drinks can lead to kidney and dental problems. The heart may also be affected in the long run, and there have been many instances of poor mental health and risky behavior tied to the caffeinated beverages.
Docs: Energy Drinks Should Be Regulated
Dr. Mattei advocates for restrictions on the sale of energy drinks to kids and teens and more research on the safe caffeine dose for youngsters.
The study comes one year after a group of scientists urged the British government to ban the sale of the drinks to kids under the age of 16, citing “serious health risks.”
Past studies revealed that too much caffeine can have dangerous side-effects in adults too:
- Caffeine can spark an anxiety disorder that has been recently listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM);
- it can also cause insomnia in people that already have sleep disorders.
- Too much caffeine can worsen the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease and is believed to promote other digestive issues.
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