More than half of all people who consume energy drinks, also known as sports drinks, experience negative health effects from them, suggests a study conducted by researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. These adverse effects are mostly associated with caffeine, which is a stimulant, and range from nausea and headaches to rapid heartbeat, and, in rare cases, seizures.
For this study, the researchers surveyed 2,055 Canadian young people between ages 12 and 24. Of those surveyed who used energy drinks, 55.4 percent reported having experienced an adverse health effect and 5 percent had sought medical attention. Adverse effects included:
- Rapid heartbeat (24.7 percent)
- Difficulty sleeping 24.1 percent)
- Headaches (18.3 percent)
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea (5.1 percent)
- Chest pain (3.6 percent)
- Seizure (0.2 percent)
Energy drinks appear to pose a greater health risk than coffee, according to the researchers, and they should not be marketed to young people participating in physical activities.