Energy drinks are a big market.
According to data from the energy drink giant NPD Group, their sales have increased by more than 5 per cent since 2016.
These energy drinks have become a hot topic of conversation in Australia, where the drink is a mainstay of Australian sports, from cricket to basketball.
But do these energy drinks actually have any discernible impact on the health of our bodies?
The answer is yes.
The energy drinks companies claim they do.
There is good evidence that the energy drinks contain ingredients that have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve metabolism, help fight heart disease and cancer and help boost metabolism and memory.
But this evidence is far from conclusive.
Some of the research in the United States has found that energy drinks can increase the risk of diabetes and obesity.
This has led to concerns that the drinks can also cause serious health problems in people.
“It’s a big, big issue,” says Dr Andrew McEwen, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine and one of the experts on the topic.
“If you have people drinking a lot of energy drinks and the risk is just too high to consider they might have diabetes, you’d have to do some really interesting research to show this effect.”
It is possible that the products are not helping you lose weight, but instead they are increasing your energy expenditure and causing the body to store fat.
The drinks are also associated with a range of other health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
A 2016 study by the Australian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research found that while energy drinks do have some health benefits, they are linked to a range and number of serious health issues.
There was also a significant increase in the number of people who suffered heart attack or stroke while taking energy drinks.
“They’re probably putting more of a stress on the heart than normal people,” Dr McEwan says.
“In terms of heart disease risk, it’s not really a clear relationship.”
Another study published in the British Journal of Cardiology found that consuming an energy drink daily was linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, which can be life-threatening.
The risk of a heart attack in adults drinking energy drinks is similar to that of drinking four to six glasses of wine a day, or four glasses of red wine.
“We think there are some pretty strong correlations between energy drinks, heart disease risks and heart attack risk,” Dr James Crouch, professor of public health at the Australian National University and one the authors of the study, told ABC Radio’s 7.30.
“There is no scientific evidence that energy beverages are safe.”
A recent study published by the National Health and Medical Research Council found that the number one cause of death among young Australians was heart disease.
“People are taking too much, they’re drinking too much energy drinks,” Dr Crouch says.
Dr McEnroe says that this has been shown in a number of other studies.
“Some of these drinks, it seems, are being shown to have some benefit to cardiovascular health,” he says.
A number of studies have also found that people who drank energy drinks during pregnancy are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
However, there is no evidence that these drinks cause diabetes in adults, Dr McErwan says, and there is a lack of solid evidence to suggest that these energy drink drinks can cause harm to children.
Dr Croucher says that energy drink brands have been linked to the increased use of the internet and social media.
“I don’t know if this is really surprising, but there’s definitely a big shift in social media and a lot more people are sharing information online,” he tells ABC Radio.
“When we started out in the 1990s we weren’t even doing anything about it.”
Dr McEllwane says that people are starting to understand the risks of energy drink consumption.
“The internet is one of those things where people have no idea what it’s really doing to their health,” she says.
Energy drinks and other energy drinks are not the only health risks from energy drinks The Australian Energy Council says it is concerned about the health effects of the energy and sports drinks brands.
“Consumers should be aware of the many risks of consuming energy drinks such as dehydration, hypoglycaemia, and liver damage,” the organisation says.
This information should be shared with health professionals before purchasing a product, it adds.
“Energy drinks have been associated with adverse health outcomes, including increased heart rate, blood pressure and liver function in studies,” the council says.