Researchers have found that certain popular energy drinks that are promoted to, and used by, a growing number of athletes in order to gain an “extra push”, can contain as much as a quarter cup of sugar and more caffeine than a strong cup of coffee.
They warned “weekend warriors” and those “seeking an edge in an endurance event” faced potential health risks by using such products as they can seriously dehydrate users.
Researchers from the University of Texas Medical School, Houston also warned that users who mixed drinks with alcohol also faced increased heart rates and blood pressure and mental problems.
The study, reported in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, adds weight to previous research that found such energy drinks can affect a person’s health such as heart attacks and seizures and in some extreme circumstances lead to death.
Countries including Norway, Denmark and France have banned Red Bull after one study showed rats that “were fed taurine, exhibited bizarre behaviour, including anxiety and self-mutilation”.
A further study carried out by scientists at the University Of Maryland School Of Public Health and published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, suggests that university students who consume highly caffeinated energy drinks are more likely to be at risk of becoming dependent on alcohol.
Source: Mayo Clinical Proceedings