Energy drinks: interaction, social consequences


Recently, a dangerous tendency has been outlined for the combined use by young people of energy tonics and alcohol. In addition, caffeine enhances the effect of alcohol on the brain. A recent study, presented by the portal, comparing intoxication after drinking with alcohol intoxication from the combination of alcohol / energy drink, found that a mixture of energy drinks with alcohol is more dangerous than pure alcohol.

Marczinski and her colleagues studied 56 students (28 men, 28 women) aged 21 to 33 years. They divided them into four groups that received different doses: 0.65 g / kg of alcohol, 3.57 ml / kg of energy drink, energy drink + alcohol or placebo drink. The behavior of the participants was investigated by setting a task that determined how quickly the subject could cope with the action of the dose received. Participants also noted their well-being, including feelings of irritation, sedation, and level of intoxication. Thus, the consumption of energy drinks in combination with alcohol increases the risk for the drinker due to the increased level of stimulation and high impulsivity. ” 

In addition, the combination of energy with alcohol leads to increased urination, and increased physical activity (dancing, sports, etc.) leads to increased sweating, which ultimately leads to severe dehydration. Such conditions can be fatal, especially for athletes, which has already taken place in a number of countries. So, the Irish basketball player Ross Cooney died right on the basketball court after he drank three cans of an energy drink, and the girl dancing at a disco, along with alcohol drank two cans of energy tonics, which led to a sudden cardiac arrest and death.

The simultaneous use of energy drinks and certain antidepressants, for example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, can cause pupils to dilate in humans.

After using the energy drink for 3–5 hours (half-life of caffeine), tea and coffee should not be consumed due to the risk of overdose of caffeine. It is also extremely dangerous to combine energy tonics with other caffeinated drinks (Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola, etc.).

Absolute contraindications to the use of energy tonics are elderly and childhood (up to 12 years), pregnancy and breastfeeding, diseases of the cardiovascular system, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, hypersensitivity to caffeine . It is highly recommended that the reception of “power engineers” to people taking psychotropic drugs because of the highly predicted effect of such an interaction.

Among other things, do not forget that energy tones are extremely high in calories. They contain about 10% sugar (33 g per jar, which is about 120 kcal). Therefore, for young and not very young people who are overweight, these drinks are harmful.

Social impact

As a result of a study published in the journal Pediatrics, it was found that if the use of energy is regular, it can cause seizures, strokes, and even the so-called sudden death syndrome. An overdose of energy drinks is extremely dangerous – it occurs if a person consumes from 3 cans of energy drinks in a short period of time. It can be accompanied by the above phenomena, plus hallucinations and causeless aggression.

One of the many confirmations of this fact can be the report of Australian doctors from the University of Sydney, indicating an increase in the number of registered adverse reactions while taking energy tones. For seven years, only in Australia, 297 people needed medical attention, and 128 people were hospitalized with symptoms of palpitations, agitation, and indigestion after consuming energy drinks. Of these, 20 people had serious problems, such as cramps and hallucinations.

According to a study by American scientists, adolescents who drink popular energy drinks six or more cans a month are three times more likely to smoke, take drugs, and take part in fights.

These circumstances have led to the fact that in recent years, more and more developed countries have come to a complete ban or significant restriction on the distribution of this class of drinks. In December 2010, alcoholic energy drinks containing caffeine were completely withdrawn from sale throughout the United States based on a government report on their health hazards. Energy drinks are officially banned in France, Denmark and Norway, where they are sold only in pharmacies, as they are considered a medicine. Swedish authorities recently launched an investigation into three deaths, possibly caused by the consumption of energy drinks. The UK authorities have issued an official warning about the dangers of any energy drinks for pregnant women and children.

In Russia, in 2005, a resolution was signed “On Strengthening the Supervision of Beverages Containing Tonic Components,” recommending, among other things, to include in the contraindications applied to the label of energy drinks the inscription: “It is not recommended for children under 18 years of age, pregnant and lactating mothers , elderly people, as well as people suffering from increased nervous irritability, insomnia, cardiac abnormalities, hypertension. ” The chief state sanitary doctors of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation have been instructed to strengthen state sanitary and epidemiological supervision of the production and circulation of energy drinks. 

Nevertheless, there is no doubt the urgent need to tighten the legislative framework governing the sale and use of energy tonics in our country.

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