Fueling an Addiction: The dangers of energy drinks


As teenagers, school can really knock the wind out of us, so a quick energy drink seems like the perfect solution. The reality is that energy drinks are not that perfect solution.

Energy drinks contain anywhere between 80-300+ mg in caffeine. To compare, an 8oz cup of coffee contains at max 110 mg of caffeine and a 12oz can of Coca Cola contains around 35 mg of caffeine. Along with caffeine, ginseng, vitamin B and artificial sweeteners are added to the mix.

“Caffeine at the triple dose of a cup of coffee, it’s pretty rough, it definitely affects your heart,” said Marco Aurilio, an ex-pharmaceutical chemist. “I think vitamin B6 is one of the common ones or B12 and it’s at a dose 3000 times the recommended daily allowance, a vitamin can certainly be toxic in high doses.”

Energy drinks can be very dangerous when it comes to a teenager’s health. Some of the side effects could land you a trip to the hospital.

Heart problems such as increase in blood pressure, increased heart rate and even a heart attack. Other side effects include things like disturbed sleep cycles, anxiety, dehydration and a reduction in hand steadiness.

“I think largely they don’t know about the effects, they’re being marketed as healthy drinks,” Aurilio said, “They’re available, they’re right in front of you so that I think part of the assumption is that they’re available, so they can’t be bad for you.”

Social media and people aren’t any help either. For example, Bang Energy takes advantage of Tik Tokers and Youtubers so they can promote their product.

Not only is social media promoting to mostly minors, but they are also using people under 18, who also get affected to market their product. Most of the time, there is no warning label or any information in these ads or sponsorships that explain the side effects. 

“If people see other people drinking it, then they’re going to want to drink it too.” said Rhiannon Wolfarth. 

Addictions are a thing and once you start the train almost never stops, which is why we need to be careful around energy drinks. 

“These energy drinks are addicting,” Aurilio said, “You start using it and suddenly you rely on it to be awake.”