Study reveals consequences of drinking energy drinks in young people

In 2023, the beverage consumption energy consumption reached the maximum since the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs (PNSD) began studying it in 2014: in 2023, 47.7% of students aged 14 to 18 had taken one in the last 30 days, 19.5% mixed with alcohol.

Another PNSD study carried out on children under 12 and 13 years old previously revealed another data: up to 37.7% of these children have taken Red Bull, Burn, Monster, Coca-Cola Energy or others in the last month, 10.2 % mixed with alcohol.

Intense advertising campaigns for these drinks

Intense advertising campaigns are behind the emergence of these products on the market, which define them as “refreshing drinks created to increase physical resistance, provide a feeling of well-being and stimulate metabolism, capable of supplying a high level of energy from a combination of ingredients added for their possible stimulating effects,” recalls the OEDA.

Its compounds include caffeine, glocuronolactone and vitamins. Some attribute its stimulating properties to amino acids such as taurine or to its content in herbal extracts such as ginseng or guarana, and in some cases minerals, inositol and carnitine are added.

Energy drinks: health consequences

The reality, this report points out, is that they have “important consequences” at the brain and metabolic level: some of its adverse effects are the stimulation of the central nervous system (CNS) and cardiovascular system and its relationship with overweight and obesity.

Its regular intake has also been associated with caffeine overdose, hypertension, bone loss and osteoporosis.

Their side effects Common symptoms are palpitations, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, and frequent urination.

As the OEDA warns, young people are “one of the population groups most exposed” to them.

In fact, several communities, including Galicia and the Ministry of Health itself, with the approval of numerous scientific societies, have put these energy drinks in their sights and want to regulate them for minors.

Energy drinks and alcohol, prelude to other drugs

Of the students aged 14 to 18 who have used one of these drinks in the last month, more than half (54%) are boys, and 40.7% are girls, so the increase in consumption in In recent years it has been more than double in them than in women.

By age, the prevalence increases progressively until reaching its peak at age 18 (59.8 percent).

Likewise, it has increased the mixed consumption with alcohol and it is in this group where greater drug use also appears: thus, 72.5% of adolescents who drink energy drinks consume alcohol; 32.3%, tobacco; 24.3%, cannabis; 10.5%, hypnosedatives, with no prescription, and 1.6%, ecstasy or cocaine.

Another piece of information from the study is that young people who have consumed energy drinks In the last 30 days they get worse grades on average, repeat more courses or fail more than the rest. These differences are even greater in those who mix them with alcohol.

The differences are even greater with nights out: the percentage of those who have consumed alcoholic or non-alcoholic energy drinks in the last 30 days and who go out two or more nights a week, return at 3 a.m. or later, and They have more money to spend weekly to go with friends, to the movies or to have a drink, it is greater than that of those who do not take it.

Carrying out activities such as reading or having a hobby such as playing a musical instrument works as a protective shield, so the prevalence of consumption is lower in adolescents who practice any of these tasks, notes the OEDA.

(With information from EFE)

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