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Energy Drinks Tied to Toxic Behavior?

Energy Drinks Tied to Toxic Behavior?

It’s not at all uncommon for people to sometimes rely on a caffeine boost for a morning pick-me-up, or even mid-day, when that all-night "Sex and the City" marathon hits you like a ton of fluffy pillows urging you to take a nap. But what if, say, you saw a 12-year-old walking down the street and tossing back a Red Bull?
 
It’s alarming, but not at all far-fetched. In fact, health researchers say the past decade has shown a surge in popularity of super-caffeinated energy drinks, like Red Bull, Monster, Full Throttle and Amp, amongst 12- to 24-year-olds. And we’re not talking small numbers here: About one-third of this age group regularly consumes energy drinks, accounting for more than $3 billion in annual sales in the United States.
 
The trend has proven to be a growing source of concern. Last year, several high school students in Colorado Springs, CO became ill after drinking a high-caffeine drink, and in March, four Florida-based middle school students were rushed to the emeregency room after suffering from heart palpitations and sweats after drinking an energy beverage.
 
But that’s not all. The Journal of American College Health published in March a report on the link between energy drinks, athletics and risky behavior. The study suggests that a high consumption of energy drinks may result in a slew of risky and aggressive behaviors, including unprotected sex, substance abuse and violence. That’s not to say the drinks are causing bad behavior. But what it is telling us is that there is a very bright red flag attached to regular consumption of energy drinks; they have the potential to not only affect an otherwise healthy life, but also safety.
 
We want to hear from you: What’s your take on the energy drink trend? Do you think they're safe? [MSNBC]

Posted: 6/6/08