The little-known health risks of energy drinks!

Verified on 08/15/2023 by PasseportSanté
Les dangers méconnus des boissons énergisantes sur votre santé !

Although no scientist has really called into question the health effects of energy drinks, some studies do suggest that we should be particularly vigilant, especially if we over-consume these products.

The consumption of energy drinks continues to grow, particularly among young people. Dark Dog, Rockstar, Burn, Monster – these beverages containing caffeine, vitamins, taurine, guarana and sugar have been enjoying growing success for several years. Red Bull, the best-known brand, sells 16.6 million cans a day, 60% of which are consumed by teenagers. This over-consumption is the subject of much debate, not least among scientists.

Energy drinks harmful if abused

Although the harmfulness of these drinks has not been proven when consumed in moderation, the situation is very different when they are abused, particularly by young people. A study conducted by Aymeric Petit, Laurent Karila and Michel Lejoyeux focuses on the composition and dosage of these drinks. In fact, the caffeine they contain can trigger migraines, palpitations, agitation and digestive disorders when the dose exceeds 400 mg per day, equivalent to the consumption of 5 cans of Red Bull. It should be noted that minors have a lower tolerance to caffeine than adults. The same applies to taurine, an amino acid of animal origin, whose recommended daily intake should not exceed 3 g per day, equivalent to 3 cans of Red Bull.

What are the risks of drinking a lot of energy drinks?

A recent case has once again implicated energy drinks in certain health problems. A 56-year-old British man who drank a lot of Red Bull and Monster suffered a brain haemorrhage after swallowing 25 cans in six hours. Although he survived, he is now suffering from serious after-effects, particularly as regards his speech. For many specialists, the cocktail that combines caffeine and taurine could be extremely harmful. In 2016, an Australian study published in the International Journal of Cardiology even reported that a third of patients seen in emergency departments with suspected heart attacks had ingested at least two glasses of energy drinks. As the University of Bonn, Germany, points out, energy drinks are particularly dangerous for people with cardiovascular or neurological problems (even minor ones), which affect the heart’s contractions.