The young generation around the world is increasingly using both alcohol and energy drinks. This has now become a normal phenomenon among young people especially where the night-time economy is involved. However, many of this young people are not aware of the risk of overconsumption of these energy drinks.
In most parts of the world, most energy drink manufacturers package and market their products in a way that they fall under dietary supplements. In doing so, they are not obliged to disclose the quantities of the active ingredients in their products. This contributes to the increased lack of awareness among consumers. The knowledge of this ingredients is crucial since they may cause changes in body functioning and may cause adverse effects.
Good news is that these can be remedied, with an elaborate discussion on the side effects of these energy drinks, and awareness can be achieved with the at-risk population understanding what it is they are taking. Through a clinical study, data will be collected on the consumption of energy drinks by athletes and adolescents before exercises where two groups will be selected one as a control group.
As stated above, there is an emerging body of evidence, internationally demonstrating increasing intake of alcohol together with energy drinks among the youth population. Consumption of alcohol in combination with stimulants has from time immemorial been a public health headache due to health risks that come with it. However, given the relative innocence of combining alcohol with energy drinks, research on this area hasn’t been quite forthcoming. The little studies done so far provide quite some insight where they reveal quite some susceptible populations. One of these studies reveals that 55% of university students mix alcohol with the energy drinks with an objective to hide the alcohol flavor. 15% consume in order to drink more and feel less drunk. These misconceptions reflect all over. With regards to recent credible research, there is a high potential risk of passing out, drug use, unprotected sex for those students who consume alcohol together with energy drinks. Also, studies show other side effects such as, difficulties in sleeping, worse hangovers and aggression.
Use of energy drinks can be classified under stimulating products of alcohol. Most young people use energy drinks as a substitute to illicit stimulants such as methamphetamine or cocaine. This however does not classify energy drinks as stimulants; however, they tend to share some properties. Both cause wakefulness and counteracting drowsy effects of alcohol.
The issue of combining energy drinks with alcohol affects the young generation. As per studies, using energy drinks is a normal idea but the problem is when they are overused. So the question we try to answer is to what amount one should stop taking energy drinks. This combination has several negative effects, the main ones being, sleep disturbance, severe hangovers and increased heartbeats. If this issue is not addressed, the effects could be dire where victims using the energy drinks are six times likely to suffer heart palpitations as compared to those who take alcohol only.
As per the foregoing, there should be several strategies laid down in order to curb the issue. The state laws should stop classifying energy drinks as dietary products; these will ensure that the manufacturers include information about the product’s ingredients to the consumers. Non-governmental organizations, as well as educational institutions, should offer education on the energy drinks so as to ensure that the young people are aware of the side effects of combining alcohol and energy drinks.
- Miller, KE. Energy Drinks, Race and Problem Behaviors Among College Students. (2008) J Adolesc Heal.