The Amount of Caffeine
Energy drinks range in the amount of caffeine, but typically have much more then coffee or sodas. According to a New York Times article published September 25, 2008, “The caffeine content of energy drinks varies from 50 milligrams to more than 500 milligrams per serving. A regular 12-ounce cola drink has about 35 milligrams of caffeine, and a 6-ounce cup of brewed coffee has 80 to 150 milligrams of caffeine.”
The New York Times article also states a list of medical risks associated with energy drinks, and that according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases recognizes caffeine intoxication as a clinical syndrome. “It is marked by nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, gastrointestinal upset, tremors, rapid heartbeats, restlessness and pacing, and in rare cases, even death.”
A study by the Researchers at the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions published in the Science Daily on July 25, 2008 shows a link to energy drinks and risk taking behaviors among teenagers and young adults. The studies first results show that there were links between energy drink consumption, risky substance use and sexual risk taking. "Energy drink consumption is correlated with substance use, unsafe sexual activity and several other forms of risk-taking,"
Energy Drink Mixer
Many young adults use energy drinks to mix with alcohol because they believe the energy drink will off set the effect of alcohol, but this mixture is very dangerous. The mix of depressants with stimulants can be very detrimental to the heart. It can cause heart rhythm problems, and energy drinks which include stimulants such as ginseng and taurine can send mixed messages to the nervous system and cause cardiac complications. Mixing energy drinks and alcohol can also increase dehydration.