Revista Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia
versión impresa ISSN 0120-0011
COTE-MENENDEZ, Miguel; RANGEL-GARZON, Claudia Ximena; SANCHEZ-TORRES, Marlib Yolima y MEDINA-LEMUS, Adalbeis. Energy drinks: rehydrating agents or stimulants?. Rev.fac.med.unal [online]. 2011, vol.59, n.3, pp. 255-266. ISSN 0120-0011.
Background. Energy drinks can be found almost everywhere; their consumption has increased due to ease of access to them, their stimulant properties and the idea that they are harmless. Scarce knowledge about their characteristics has led to them being confused with rehydrating drinks and thus their indiscriminate use, even though rehydrating drinks seek to prevent dehydration and energy drinks have a stimulant effect. Objective. Describing energy drinks' components and analysing their effects, undesired reactions and precautions regarding their use. Materials and methods. The literature in Pubmed was reviewed using the MeSH terms «caffeine» OR «taurine» OR «gluconates» combined with the term «energy drinks» with specifiers, 42 articles being found. The summaries were analysed and 29 articles were included in the study. Results. Energy drinks contain methylxanthines, carbohydrates, taurine, vitamins and/or guaraná (caffeine source from an Amazon region berry). Most stimulant effects happen at the expense of high concentrations of methylxanthines such as caffeine. Such high concentrations increase the risk of poisoning and caffeine dependence. Cases of arrhythmia, heart attack, exacerbation of psychiatric symtomatology and convulsions associated with their consumption have been reported. Furthermore, mixing them with alcohol increases alcohol poisoning-related damage. They are not recommended for sportspeople due to their diuretic and cardiovascular effects. Conclusions. It has been shown that energy drink components are not completely innocuous. Even though their chronic effects remain unknown, the literature does warn about the damage to health which could be caused by strong acute consumption or frequent consumption. Measures must thus be implemented which are aimed at broadcasting the consequences of these substances and restricting their consumption by atrisk populations.
Palabras llave : beverages; caffeine; taurine; adverse effects (MeSH).