Problematic use of energy drinks by adolescents

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2010 Jul;19(3):643-50. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2010.03.015.


Energy drinks (EDs) are caffeine-based beverages that commonly contain large doses of sugar, carbohydrates, and a variety of legal stimulants and supplements, such as guarana, taurine, ginseng, and vitamin B complex. These drinks are marketed for young people as natural alternatives that increase fun and improve physical and cognitive performance such as concentration, attention, and alertness. There are commonly held false perceptions that the consumption of EDs can reverse alcohol-related impairment, including motor coordination and visual reaction time, which are crucial for driving safety. This article reviews the literature on EDs and examines problematic use and potential negative consequences in young people. Special emphasis is devoted to safety concerns following combination of EDs with alcohol, which gives the user a false sense of control.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Beverages / adverse effects*
  • Caffeine / adverse effects
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects
  • Food Labeling
  • Humans
  • Risk-Taking


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Caffeine