Your Health: The Dangers of Energy Drinks
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It could be a part of your daily diet that's doing more harm than you think. A new report released in the Journal of Pediatrics shows caffeine intake in teenagers is increasing in the form of coffee and energy drinks.
Chances are you've been told before that energy drinks are dangerous. Nonetheless, they remain a staple in many american's busy schedules. Even a look around our own newsroom turned up some caffeine fanatics.
As the morning show director, Lee Kraft is at work before the sun is up. He's not a coffee drinker, and reaches for an energy drink to jumpstart his day.
"I get the shakes sometimes if i haven't eaten much," he says and laughs.
"It's the caffeine that really is key in terms of the effect on the brain," Bruce Goldberger, the Director of Toxicology at the University of Florida, says.
He says be careful of too much of a good thing.
"Caffeine is caffeine so whether it's in coffee, tea, soda, or an energy drink it's the same," Goldberger says, "It's really the dose that matters."
And newer forms of energy drinks might be making that dose more potent, recently energy shots are becoming popular among those wanting a boost without all the calories.
"I would rather take a smaller shot than take a huge monster drink," reporter Stephanie Bechara says, "those drinks have too much sugar, I feel safer doing this.
However Dr. Goldberger says the shots can pose a different risk.
"The likelihood of an adverse effect of drinking too much caffeine is much greater with the shot because it's only drinking one or two ounces," he says, "so you could drink five shots with the same amount of volume as a drink."
Ultimately even coffee poses a risk if you're having too much, TV20's resident afternoon coffee enthusiast David Snyder has to watch his limit.
"It used to be three cups a day, and my cups are pretty big, now I'm down to two trying to keep the blood pressure down," he says.
So whether your caffeine is roasted and brewed or bright and bubbly, he says it's all good in moderation. Certainly good advice if you want to have your caffeine and drink it too.
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