Article

Caffeinated Energy Drinks – A Growing Problem

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.
Drug and alcohol dependence (Impact Factor: 3.42). 10/2008; 99(1-3):1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2008.08.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Since the introduction of Red Bull in Austria in 1987 and in the United States in 1997, the energy drink market has grown exponentially. Hundreds of different brands are now marketed, with caffeine content ranging from a modest 50 mg to an alarming 505 mg per can or bottle. Regulation of energy drinks, including content labeling and health warnings differs across countries, with some of the most lax regulatory requirements in the U.S. The absence of regulatory oversight has resulted in aggressive marketing of energy drinks, targeted primarily toward young males, for psychoactive, performance-enhancing and stimulant drug effects. There are increasing reports of caffeine intoxication from energy drinks, and it seems likely that problems with caffeine dependence and withdrawal will also increase. In children and adolescents who are not habitual caffeine users, vulnerability to caffeine intoxication may be markedly increased due to an absence of pharmacological tolerance. Genetic factors may also contribute to an individual's vulnerability to caffeine-related disorders including caffeine intoxication, dependence, and withdrawal. The combined use of caffeine and alcohol is increasing sharply, and studies suggest that such combined use may increase the rate of alcohol-related injury. Several studies suggest that energy drinks may serve as a gateway to other forms of drug dependence. Regulatory implications concerning labeling and advertising, and the clinical implications for children and adolescents are discussed.

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    • "Consuming multiple energy drinks over a short period as brief as only a few hours may cause caffeine intoxication resulting in heart palpitations, hypertension, nausea and vomiting, convulsions, psychosis, and in some rare cases, even death (Gunja & Brown, 2012; Trabulo, 2011; Winston et al., 2005). Research suggests that energy drinks pose a public health risk and may be linked to other substance use problems (Arria et al., 2011; Azagba, Langille, & Asbridge, 2014; Breda et al., 2014; Hamilton, Boak, Ilie, & Mann, 2013; Reissig et al., 2009; Terry-McElrath et al., 2014). "
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    • "It has been associated with a four-factor structure in secondary school children labelled Junk Food, Caffeinated Soft Drinks/Gum, Healthy Foods, and Hot Caffeinated Beverages (see Richards et al., 2015b). Because caffeine content is known to vary considerably between energy drink products (Reissig et al., 2009), participants were asked to state the brand names of those that they consumed. This measure was included in order to increase the accuracy of estimating caffeine consumption. "
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    • "The use of amphetamine-related drugs is often combined with beverages containing a high 90 quantity of caffeine in order to amplify their stimulant actions and reduce their side effects 91 (Mohamed et al., 2011; Reissig et al., 2009). Although caffeine use is safe (Ascherio et al., 92 2001; Fredholm et al., 1999; Schwarzschild et al., 2003), caffeinated energy drinks have 93 widespread popularity, and their use might influence the adverse effects of other substances 94 which are taken concomitantly (Mohamed et al., 2011; Morelli and Simola, 2011; Simola et 95 al., 2006). "
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