Young adults who frequently consume sports and energy drinks also have a higher tendency of smoking, using social media excessively and drinking other sugar-sweetened beverages.
In a new study, University of Minnesota looked into how consuming sports and energy drinks can affect the health and overall behavior of a young adult. Surveys were conducted on 2,793 adolescents with an average age of 14.4 years. Researchers found that though the participants who frequently consumed sports and energy drinks were more physically active, they also tended to watch more television and use social networking sites more extensively. Such individuals were also more likely to smoke and drink other sugar-sweetened beverages.
"Among boys, weekly sports drink consumption was significantly associated with higher TV viewing; boys who regularly consumed sports drinks spent about one additional hour per week watching TV compared with boys who consumed sports drinks less than once per week," said lead author Nicole Larson in a press statement. "Boys who consumed energy drinks at least weekly spent approximately four additional hours per week playing video games compared to those who consumed energy drinks less than once per week."
In February this year, University of Michigan researchers found that teenagers who consume energy drinks are more likely to use drugs and alcohol because they give the same "sensation-seeking or risk-oriented" feeling.
A previous study conducted by the same university found that drinking an energy drink mixed with alcohol is riskier for health than drinking alcohol alone.
Currently, premixing high-caffeine products with alcohol by manufacturers is not permitted in the United States, according to a Wall Street Journal report. However, clubs continue to serve cocktails mixed with the two, creating a highly intoxicating mixture. A few favorites among teens and young adults are vodka Red Bulls and Jäger bombs, made by dropping a shot of Jägermeister liquor into a glass of Red Bull, both of which are variants of Four Loko and Sparks. Taking note of the various health implications, both these alcoholic energy drinks have been banned in the country.
Many of the energy drinks available in the market these days are not safe, irrespective of what they claim. They contain varied levels of caffeine, which if taken at the wrong time lead to disturbed sleep and dehydration of the body. Moreover, these energy drinks also trigger reactions in the body that enhance blood pressure and heart beat rates, which again may not been good for the body. Experts recommend not consuming energy drinks while exercising as the combination of all the stimulants and other ingredients in energy drinks can result in a loss of fluid from sweating and cause dehydration.
A Daily Mail report compares mixing alcohol and energy drinks to mixing "cocaine to heroin." Teens that consume such concoctions typically drink 36 percent more than their peers and report twice as many weekly episodes of drunkenness.