Are Energy Drinks Bad For You? A Study Found They May Have An Impact On Both Your Mental And Physical Health

Share
Ad failed to load

Energy drinks are a staple in a lot of young people’s diets. Men between the ages of 18 and 34 consume energy drinks the most according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), and one in three teens between the ages 12 and 17 drink them regularly. These caffeinated drinks are marketed as wonder-products that increase alertness and enhance physical and mental performance. But while many people already knew that energy drinks aren't too great for you, a new study has found a troubling link between energy drink consumption and mental health issues.

The study, which was published in Frontiers in Public Health, reviewed the health effects and public health concerns of energy drink consumption in the United States. Researchers summarized current scientific evidence regarding the health consequences of energy drinks and proposed recommendations to lessen those negative effects. The review found that the negative health effects attributed to energy drinks is caused by the high levels of caffeine in sugar in most energy drinks available in the United States. Despite the many energy drink options available at most grocery stores, most energy drinks are comprised of similar ingredients — water, sugar, caffeine, and stimulants, to name a few.

Researchers concluded that many studies found a link between excessive caffeine and sugar intake and adverse mental health outcomes, including stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, but it's not the only review to notice this link. An older Korean study, which was published in the Nutrition Journal, explored the association between energy drink intake, sleep, stress, and risk of suicide. And the results were startling.

Ad failed to load

Those who reported drinking energy drinks were more likely to be stressed, depressed, and dissatisfied with their quality of sleep. Even more alarming, energy drink intake was closely associated with suicidal ideation, a suicide plan, or a suicide attempt. The risk for mental health issues was higher when survey participants drank more energy drinks, and junk food consumption compounded these risks.

Because energy drinks are marketed towards young people, many studies focus on the impact of these beverages on children, adolescents, and young adults. Also, the human brain doesn’t stop growing until the age of 25, making young people particularly vulnerable to products that may negatively impact mental health.

Ad failed to load

Other previously published studies explore the physical effects of energy drinks and call into question the effectiveness of these products. According to the NIH, large amounts of caffeine similar to that of energy drinks can cause serious heart and blood vessel problems. Caffeine often contributes to heart rhythm disturbances and increases in heart rate and blood pressure. In addition, excessive caffeine consumption is associated with digestive problems and dehydration.

But the most surprising outcome of this research? There is no conclusive evidence that energy drinks do what they’re marketed to do, according to the NIH. There is some data that suggests energy drinks temporarily aid in improved alertness and physical endurance, but there is very little data that states energy drinks enhance strength and power.

If you’re looking to increase your energy and alertness, but want to skip all the potential dangerous effects of energy drinks, you’re in luck. There are plenty of natural foods you can enjoy that provide the benefits you’re looking for. Almonds contain Vitamin E and Magnesium and lots of protein, which can help sustain your energy levels of all day. Salmon, which contains omega-3 fatty acids, can elevate your mood and protect you from depression. And according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, spinach is packed full of iron and can help improve concentration. Additionally, a different study recently found that drinking three cups of coffee a day has a number of health benefits, so there are options if you truly need that caffeine boost.

Ad failed to load

Although the study of energy drinks’ effects doesn’t state that energy drinks explicitly cause depression or other mental health issues, it’s important to recognize the potential association, on top of the other health effects of energy drinks. Check in with yourself and pay attention to how your body reacts to what you consume.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

Bustle's Editors On Jennifer Aniston + Adam Rippon

We've made it to Friday! It's been a pretty hectic week, and the news that Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux are splitting up might have put a damper on your weekend. But, if like many people you have Monday off, hopefully you can sit back and enjo…
By Rachel Simon

This Timeline Of Justin Theroux & Jennifer Aniston's Relationship Will Break Your Heart All Over Again

Just one day after Valentine's Day, actors Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux announced their breakup after seven years together. The celebrity couple, who were married for two-and-half years, separated quietly at the end of last year. This week, th…
By Priscilla Totiyapungprasert

19 Things Your Parents Told You Were Illegal In The '90s

Kids say — and think — the darnedest things. We have overactive imaginations, adults like to mess with us, and we don't always understand everything we hear. That's why some kids call strawberries "straw babies" — a boo-boo so adorable, you don't eve…
By Megan Grant

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

I Never Want To Write This Essay Again

I don't know where you were when you heard about Wednesday's high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. I don't know what you were doing, or how you tried to process the news. I do know this: you thought to yourself, not again. And yet, again. Of cou…
By Jenny Hollander

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

A Study Suggests Drinking Soda Can Affect Your Fertility — But Don’t Freak Out Just Yet

An awful lot of things can affect fecundability — that is, the probability of conceiving within a single menstrual cycle — but can soda really decrease your chances of getting pregnant? A new study suggests that it might, although it turns out that t…
By Lucia Peters

Here Are All The Terms You Need To Know If You’re Watching Olympic Ski Events Right Now

Every four years the Winter Olympics rolls around to remind me that A) there are so many important Winter Olympic sports, and B) I know virtually nothing any of them. And I know for a fact, I'm not alone, I bet most people don't know what the differe…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

Money Actually CAN Buy Happiness — And Science Figured Out Exactly How Much It Costs

You’ve probably heard the saying “Money can’t buy happiness.” Personally, I’d be more than willing to test out that hypothesis myself, but researchers at Purdue University beat me to it. Researchers found that there is an actual amount of money it ta…
By Katie Mitchell

Kate Middleton Made Sales Of This $1 Secret Accessory Spike & She'll Turn You Into A Believer

There's a royal epidemic going on, people. It's one that causes any and everyone to obsess over the royal family's wardrobe and beauty routines, even if it means breaking the bank to look like them. So a frenzy was expected when Kate Middleton report…
By Summer Arlexis

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
via Romper

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale

These 10 Drugstore Red Lipsticks Are Under $10 & Actually *Amazing*

I adore makeup. There are few things I like more than getting myself fancied up in the mornings. It's a little ritual I get to do every day that makes me feel prettier and more put together. When my makeup is on, I'm ready to face the world — pun int…
via Romper

17 Moms Reveal The Most Disgusting Part Of Their Pregnancy

Pregnant bodies do weird-ass things. Weird-ass, gross things. I mean, my pregnant body did (twice), and I have long-suspected I'm not alone. So I asked other moms to share the most disgusting part of their pregnancy and I learned that, not only am I …
via Romper