Over-consumption of energy drinks a health threat

Over-consumption of energy drinks can trigger heart attacks in young people – Noone

Fine Gael Dublin Senator Catherine Noone has today (Wednesday) urged young people in particular, to exercise caution when consuming energy drinks.

“There have been several recent international studies illustrating the risks that energy drinks – often masquerading as dietary supplements – pose to young people

“A recent study in Australia for example, highlighted the perils of the over consumption of energy drinks. These include: palpitations, chest pain and respiratory distress, in addition to behavioural and psychological effects. This data was gathered over 7 years of calls to the Australian Poisons centre.

“In the US, the Center for Food Safety Adverse Event Reporting System (CAERS) received over 140 complaints about adverse side effects from 5 Hour Energy, Monster, and Rockstar over the last 10 years. Some of these even resulted in hospitalisation and death.

“Cardiologists in Madrid have claimed the drinks, which contain large amounts of caffeine, may trigger sudden heart attacks and erratic heartbeats in young, apparently healthy, people.

“Meanwhile the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, has stated that energy drinks often contain high amounts of labelled caffeine but can also contain ‘masked’ caffeine such as guarana – a plant with twice the concentration of coffee beans. They have advised that one 250ml can a day is safe for most healthy adolescents, but warn consumption before or during sports practice should be avoided.

“In addition to the risks of caffeine toxicity, energy drinks are extremely high in sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup and/or cane sugar. Some use creative names to make their version of sugar seem healthier, like ‘natural cane juice’. In addition to obesity and tooth decay, the high levels of sugar found in energy drinks increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

“In fact according to a new Australian documentary film, entitled ‘That Sugar Film’ due for release here tomorrow (Thursday) consuming 150 calories from sugar as opposed to other foods, can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by 700%. Such is the success of the film, it is currently being distributed to Australian schools and I am calling for it to be shown in schools here too.

“Despite manufacturers claims that energy drinks are safe – the growing body of international research to the contrary is alarming. As such I am urging young people in particular to exercise caution and restraint when consuming energy drinks.”


Stephen O’Shea
Fine Gael Press Office
01 6183858 / 087 7519433

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