COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest information from CDC ( | NIH Resources | NIDA Resources

Drugs & Health Blog

Are You Sure You Want To Drink That?

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

At first glance, energy drinks seem like a great idea—they give you increased energy without sleep—but be careful. A fast-growing number of people are ending up in the emergency room because of them, according to a new report.

The Facts

In 2011, there were 20,783 ER visits because of energy drinks. That’s enough people to fill half of the average Major League Baseball stadium.

  • 42% of those visits involved the mix of energy drinks with alcohol or other drugs.
  • The other 58% of visits resulted from negative reactions to energy drinks alone. Reactions to the large amount of caffeine included insomnia, headache, fast heartbeat, and seizures.
  • Most of these ER visitors were young adults age 18–25; however about 1,500 were teens (age 12–17).

What You Need To Know About Energy Drinks

The high level of caffeine is what makes energy drinks potentially dangerous. Caffeine isn’t harmful in small amounts, but with energy drinks, a person could easily consume a lot of caffeine in a short amount of time.

  • Energy drinks can have as much as 5 times the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.
  • Research shows that among college students, drinking energy drinks has been associated with risky behavior, including things like fighting and abusing drugs.
  • When energy drinks are mixed with alcohol, the caffeine can hide the symptoms of drunkenness, such as feeling sleepy, which can cause someone to drink more than they intend.

Do any of your friends drink energy drinks? How do they act afterwards?

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


i think that any sort of drugs are bad and they can and will kill people. and expecly the ones that do them every minite
I don’t think this is the greatest site for finding information. It’s all watered-down and only briefly touches on subjects (be it caffeine or cocaine). I’ve browsed all throughout and it’s basically saying “drugs are bad; get a proper amount of sleep, eat right, and exercise to get the same or better feeling.” Not that this isn’t true, but it’s not going into depth of what the side-effects (which is what I’m really looking for) are.
I agree with you. I came here thinking I could get some real information to print and give a friend who is so addicted to caffeine that he neglects all of his responsibilities, wrecks things, spends money like a wildfire, sleeps maybe four or five hours every night then uses caffeine when he becomes tired from lack of sleep, and gets in a rage if anyone asks him to pay attention to the damage he is doing or tries to get him to stop so he can slow down to the pace of normal living with the rest of us. He lives in a fantasy world of high - ALL THE TIME. And it's not only dangerous, like when he drives a car, barreling around forcing people out of his way, taking insane risks, but it's frightening. I'm afraid he'll end up killing someone if somebody doesn't try to wake him up to the effects of his addiction. He won't pay attention long enough to benefit from serious adult materials, so I thought teen materials would be more his speed. No such luck.