The recent Saudi government ban on advertising and limit on the distribution of energy drinks in the country speaks volumes about the dangers of their consumption. According to international estimates, energy drinks consumption has seen a rapid boom over the recent years, particularly among the Saudi youth. This thriving segment of the population is quickly adopting western lifestyle trends. This change is reflected in the high desire and usage of Western food brands such as Red Bull. Energy drinks symbolize a trendy lifestyle for Saudi youth. Energy drinks have become a way of life for the fast paced lifestyle adopted by them; they help the youth boost their body energy levels and mood for prolonged time period. While the youth is fast becoming addicted to high caffeine and high sugar content energy drinks, not enough attention is being paid to the life-threatening side effects. Here is a list of some eye-opening and worrisome side effects energy drink users are exposed to.[irp]
Heart attack and blood pressure: A healthy 28-year-old Australian man is known to have died from a heart attack after consuming eight cans of energy drink over seven hours! There was another incident reported recently about a 16-year-old Mexican girl who was found dead due to a sudden heart attack while she was drinking her favorite energy drink! The high caffeine level in energy drinks affects the functioning of the heart and can lead to heart attack, angina, and high blood pressure to say the least. If someone has a history of heart illness, they are strongly advised against the use of energy drinks.
Lowers mental processing ability: Yes! You read it right, students! Energy drinks are commonly used to pull all-nighters by exam givers but there are studies which state that drinking high amounts equal to a 250 ml Red Bull can increase nervousness and anxiety which can reduce performance in an exam.
Addiction and withdrawal symptoms like headaches and vomiting: Since energy drinks contain high doses of caffeine, users can become quickly addicted to them. When energy drink consumption falls, users experience nausea, vomiting, lethargy, severe head and body aches due to caffeine with drawl symptoms. These symptoms can affect the patient’s ability to perform everyday tasks and live a normal life. Too much consumption of energy drinks can also lead to vomiting and tooth decay.
Risky and erratic behavior: Energy drinks do a good job of keeping its users active and charged. High amounts can also result in a rash and aggressive behavior by the youth such as rash driving, erratic behavior due to lack of sleep and even make them more prone to drug abuse. So, next time think twice before you pop open a can of your favorite energy drink!