How safe are energy drinks?

ABU DHABI — Energy drinks, which have a growing popularity, especially among young people, have a negative impact on human health, nutritionists and health experts warn.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Sun 20 May 2007, 8:31 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:26 AM

The experts caution that most energy drinks usually contain high percentage of caffeine and other ingredients which might not suit the medical conditions of some people. Frequent intake of these drinks might cause dehydration due to the high percentage of caffeine they contain. They can also adversely affect the general appetite of the users, experts point out.

These expensive drinks, which commonly include caffeine as a central active ingredient aside from vitamin B, sugar and herbal ingredients, are mainly marketed for teenagers and young adults.

During their exams, a large number of teenagers take to what is marketed as "drinks capable of combating mental and physical fatigue." Ahmed, a 19-year-old student says: "Energy drinks help me stay awake for a longer time and give me the energy to memorise my lessons". Rihab, 24, also a student, believes the energy drinks make her feel fresh and active.

Meanwhile, for the supermarkets and groceries, these energy drinks mean big business. Jassim Mousa Khori, a staff at a supermarket in the capital says: "Everyday, we sell a cartoon (of 24 bottles) of these drinks. My customers are mostly in the age group of 18-30 years," he discloses.

Dr. JH, a nutritionist, warns that the energy drinks can have disastrous consequences for the diabetic. "Have water and other fresh juices instead of these energy drinks," she says. Dr. LS, a health expert, says the energy drinks should be replaced with healthy beverages.

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