Teens who drink energy drinks a lot are more likely to get head injuries than those who don’t consume the highly caffeinated beverages, a new study from Canada suggests.
Researchers analyzed information from a survey of more than 10,000 middle and high school students ages 11 to 20 in Ontario in 2013. Students were asked about their energy drink consumption, as well as whether they had experienced atraumatic 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.
“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”
However, the study found only an association between energy drinks and TBI; the researchers said they don’t know which happened first, and cannot prove that drinking energy drinks increases teens’ risk for TBI.
Future studies are needed to better understand the reason for the link between energy drink consumption and TBI, and to examine exactly why teens are drinking these beverages, the researchers said.