Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Non-Alcoholic Energy Drinks May Pose 'High' Health Risks

Researchers Recommend Public and Private Action

Highly-caffeinated energy drinks - even those containing no alcohol - may pose a significant threat to individuals and public health, say researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

In a new online commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), they recommend immediate consumer action, education by health providers, voluntary disclosures by manufacturers and new federal labeling requirements.

"Recent action to make pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks unavailable was an important first step, but more continued action is needed," says University of Maryland School of Public Health researcher Amelia Arria, who directs the Center on Young Adult Health and Development. "Individuals can still mix these highly caffeinated energy drinks with alcohol on their own. It is also concerning that no regulation exists with regard to the level of caffeine that can be in an energy drink."

Arria and co-author Mary Claire O'Brien, associate professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, alerted various state attorneys general to the risks of alcoholic energy drinks starting in 2009, steps that culminated last November in actions against Four Loko and similar products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission.


The JAMA paper cites three public health concerns surrounding all packaged energy drinks with moderate to high levels of caffeine:

Consumers often mix alcohol and energy drinks: "Energy drinks have become enmeshed in the subculture of partying," the paper says. "The practice of mixing energy drinks with alcohol - which is more widespread than generally recognized - has been linked consistently to drinking high volumes of alcohol per drinking session and subsequent serious alcohol-related consequences such as sexual assault and driving while intoxicated....Research has demonstrated that individuals who combine energy drinks with alcohol underestimate their true level of impairment."

Caffeine can have adverse health effects in susceptible individuals: "Therefore continued public health awareness regarding high levels of caffeine consumption, no matter what the beverage source, in sensitive individuals is certainly warranted," the researchers write.

Energy drink use appears to be associated with alcohol dependence and other drug use: More research is needed to clarify the possible mechanisms underlying the associations that have been observed in research studies.
The commentary recommends several "proactive steps to protect public health:"
Health care professions should inform their patients of the risks of consuming highly caffeinated energy drinks;
Individuals should educate themselves about those risks;
Manufacturers should warn consumers about the risks of mixing their products with alcohol;
Regulatory agencies should require energy drink manufacturers to disclose caffeine content and appropriate warnings about the risks on the labels.
The JAMA paper, The 'High' Risk of Energy Drinks is available online:


The School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park advances the public health needs and policies of the state and beyond - leveraging the resources of the state's flagship university; translating research, teaching, practice into healthy public policy; and delivering a new generation of collaborative public health leaders. The University of Maryland, the region's largest public research university, provides education and research services statewide, supporting Maryland's economic and social well-being.


Amelia Arria, Ph.D.
Director, Center on Young Adult Health and Development
UMD School of Public Health
(240) 271-3777 (cell)

Neil Tickner | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>