Energy Drinks Can Cause Brain Injuries

Sep 18, 2015 11:18 AM EDT | By Lyka Yulo

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Too much of everything is bad, but if you load up on drinking energy drinks the results can pose a serious damage on your brain, according to a new study in St. Michael's Hospital in Canada.

Teens who consume energy drink a lot more than the usual are more likely to catch head injuries compared to those who don't drink highly caffeinated beverages. A survey was given out to more than 10,000 middle and high school students' ages 11 to 20 years old in Ontario in 2013.

Live Science reports that the participants of the survey were asked about their energy drink consumption, as well as if there have been an instance were had experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI), meaning they had sustained a blow to the head that left them unconscious for at least 5 minutes, or resulted in an overnight hospital stay. The researchers found out that 22 percent of the students said they had experienced a traumatic brain injury and 6 percent said they had a TBI in the last year. It was also noted that most of these injuries happened while teens were playing sports.

EurekAlert also says that energy drink consumption is linked with the participant having experienced TBI. The researchers found out that teens who consumed the drinks were far more likely to have a TBI than those who did.

"Energy drinks, such a Red Bull and Rockstar, contain high levels of caffeine and change the chemical state of the body, which can prevent people from getting back on track after a TBI...
Brain injuries among adolescents are particularly concerning because their brains are still developing,"
said in a statement by the study co-author Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

As Live Science explained, "it is possible that people who consume energy drinks also have other underlying factors that predispose them to experiencing a TBI. For example, these individuals could have a personality type that tends to take risks. Or, it could be that teens who have experienced a TBI start consuming energy drinks as a way to cope with the effects of their injuries, the researchers said."

The new findings could help medical professionals, parents, teachers and coaches understand how to better prevent, diagnose and treat brain injuries, now that there is a scientific proof that there is a link between energy drinks and experiencing traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

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