Health researchers are now saying that highly caffeinated energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster, Full Throttle and Amp have been linked with reports of nausea, abnormal heart rhythms and emergency room visits.
In March, The Journal of American College Health published a report on the link between energy drinks, athletics and risky behavior. The study's author, Kathleen Miller, an addiction researcher at the University of Buffalo, says it suggests that high consumption of energy drinks is associated with "toxic jock" behavior, a constellation of risky and aggressive behaviors including unprotected sex, substance abuse, violence and risk taking.
These type of drinks have increased in popularity in the last decade, with around a third of 12- to 24-year-olds saying they regularly drink ‘em. And the trend has been concerning health researchers and school officials.
In Colorado Springs, for instance, several high school students last year became ill after drinking Spike Shooter, a high caffeine drink, inspiring the principal to ban the high-octane drink. In March, four middle school students in Broward County, Florida, went to the emergency room with heart palpitations and sweating after gulping down Redline. While in Tigard, Oregon, teachers alerted parent that students who brought energy drinks to school were "literally drunk on a caffeine buzz or falling off a caffeine crash."
Data also suggests that regular consumption of energy drinks may be a red flag for parents that their children are more likely to take risks with their health and safety. \
Yet American Beverage Association says its members don't market energy drinks to teenagers. "The intended audience is adults," said Craig Stevens, a spokesman.
Oh…well, okay then. Problem solved!