Energy drinks are the fastest growing product in the beverage industry. However, there is concern regarding potential for adverse effects with use.
To evaluate the reported adverse effects of energy drink consumption.
The electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed were searched for relevant studies from inception to November 2019, and pertinent data were abstracted.
Only clinical studies reporting adverse events after energy drink consumption were included.
Level of Evidence:
Data regarding sample size characteristics, energy drink characteristics, comparators, and all adverse events were extracted in duplicate and recorded.
A total of 32 studies and 96,549 individuals were included. Frequently reported adverse events in the pediatric population were insomnia (35.4%), stress (35.4%), and depressive mood (23.1%). Frequently reported adverse events in the adult population were insomnia (24.7%), jitteriness/restlessness/shaking hands (29.8%), and gastrointestinal upset (21.6%). Alcohol mixed with energy drinks significantly reduced the likelihood of sedation effects but increased the likelihood of stimulatory effects. Energy drink consumption significantly increased the odds of insomnia (OR, 5.02; 95% CI, 1.72-14.63) and jitteriness/activeness (OR, 3.52; 95% CI, 1.28-9.67) compared with the control group.
The authors recommend that individuals avoid frequent energy drink consumption (5-7 energy drinks/week) and avoid co-consumption with alcohol; increased regulatory standards should be placed in the sale of energy drinks, particularly with regard to the pediatric population.