Earlier we told you that most energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine, sugar and other legal stimulants.
They are designed to give people who drink them a boost of energy.
Now they are being used with alcohol, which could be a dangerous mix.
Two years ago, there were roughly ten energy drinks on the market.
Now store shelves are bursting with hundreds to choose from.
Since a Jolt is what its drinkers want, manufacturers are pushing caffeine levels to a new high, with stealth advertising campaigns, aimed at the younger generation.
Listen to this one from an energy drink called Cocaine courtesy of Drinkcocaine.com
“Marketing research have referred to energy drinks as liquid Cocaine, or speed in a can, well now there is.”
“Cocaine energy drink! The legal alternative."
It is perfectly legal and becoming the drink of choice among college students, and Dr. Jesse Hsieh of Granger Family Medicine says it is changing their very nature.“They've basically become nocturnal animals, and their parents will ask me if this is normal, if this is alright and the answer is, not really. They're tending to miss out on a lot of their lives.”
It does not stop there; bartenders say energy drinks are now a part of culture.
“Since it came out about four years ago and it's been crazy ever since. They just want it and they want it with everything,” says Donna Mae Maximenko, bartender at The Linebacker.
When asked what percentage of the drinks are mixed with energy drinks?
Donna estimated approximately 35 to 45 percent.
And when we saw people bellying up to the bar at the Linebacker, we found the same thing.
“It gives you energy and it keeps you awake for the rest of the night,” claims Jessica Gnoth, energy drink consumer.
That is one of the reasons Dr. Hseih says alcohol and energy drinks are a bad mix. “You can have significant dehydration, with these energy drinks, that caffeine does not negate your alcohol level. So now you have someone with a high alcohol level, who may be impaired.”
A combination that could prove deadly.
Hsieh hopes those old enough to mix the two are doing so wisely, as for the drinks alone.
Dr. Hseih gives advice when dealing with energy drinks, “See them for what they are. And that is they are just drinks loaded with caffeine and sometimes a more dangerous chemical, ephedrine.” “My advice as a parent would be no energy drinks. I could give them a Coke or a Pepsi when they beg me and beg me for it, but I would absolutely not give them energy drinks.”
Never drink before physical exertion.
They are not like Gatorade.
A Boy died in Ireland after drinking four energy drinks before a basketball game from sudden arrhythmia.
Some final and important points:
Many energy drinks are now going sugar free, but still have the caffeine and other stimulants.
Doctors say do not use energy drinks before or during exercise, because they do not replenish fluids like Gatorade or Powerade.
While there is no evidence the drinks are deadly, a teen in Ireland died during a basketball game after drinking four Red Bulls.
There is no conclusive evidence the drink caused his heart attack.
But the drinks are banned in France, Sweden and Denmark and Ireland is reviewing its policy on energy drinks.
Experts agree, do not give it to your kids.