Energy Drinks: A Contemporary Issues Paper

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Abstract

Since their introduction in 1987, energy drinks have become increasingly popular and the energy drink market has grown at record pace into a multibillion-dollar global industry. Young people, students, office workers, athletes, weekend warriors, and service members frequently consume energy drinks. Both health care providers and consumers must recognize the difference between energy drinks, traditional beverages (e.g., coffee, tea, soft drinks/sodas, juices, or flavored water), and sports drinks. The research about energy drinks safety and efficacy is often contradictory, given the disparate protocols and types of products consumed: this makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions. Also, much of the available literature is industry-sponsored. After reports of adverse events associated with energy drink consumption, concerns including trouble sleeping, anxiety, cardiovascular events, seizures, and even death, have been raised about their safety. This article will focus on energy drinks, their ingredients, side effects associated with their consumption, and suggested recommendations, which call for education, regulatory actions, changes in marketing, and additional research.

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