So-called “energy drinks” are a $12.2 billion market in the United States alone.
As the name implies, such drinks are popular because the promise to give the consumer a boost of energy, notes Statista.com, which defines the beverage category as follows:
They are typically high in caffeine and contain additional ingredients including taurine, guarana and B vitamins. Energy shots are a more concentrated form of energy drinks and contain a larger amount of the primary ingredient caffeine. Energy drink mixes as the third subcategory come packaged as powder and may be mixed with water or juice.
As with any beverage, there can be health consequences if not consumed in reasonable quantities, as Dion Parratt of England found out, reports the Daily Mail.
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The 18-year-old girl reportedly drank as many as five energy drinks per day for seven years, and now suffers a serious heart condition which she contends is a result of her energy drink habit. The teen says it also caused her to have two miscarriages.
She reportedly drank the energy drinks because she “barely ate,” in an attempt to lose weight.
Her symptoms include a sudden drop in pulse, which causes her to pass out, reports the Mirror. So that doctors can monitor her condition, she wears a heart monitor 24 hours per day.
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“This is what happens when you spend your childhood drinking energy drinks,” she said on a Facebook post.
She added: “I’m now stuck with wires and a massive box attached to me for 24 hours. ‘Before you drink cheap energy drinks think again about what you’re doing to your body. And anyone who is a parent, don’t let your kids drink them, they should be banned.”
The post has been shared 5,500 times since it was uploaded on August 11.
Her physician, Dr Graham Jackson, said that she mostly likely has an underlying heart problem. Whether or not that has anything to do with years of barely eating, he did not say. He did, however, mention that drinking two energy drinks is about the equivalent of 800mg of caffeine, and could be dangerous.
Due to potential health risks, there have been calls for the energy drink industry to be regulated.
To that demand the British Soft Drinks Association offered the following response: “The recent EFSA opinion confirms the safety of energy drinks and their ingredients and therefore does not provide any scientific justification to treat energy drinks any differently to the main contributors to daily caffeine intake including tea and coffee.”