The trend of energy drinks and its widespread amongst the adolescents is strongly associated with substance (any form of drug) use later in life, finds an alarming research. Not only energy drinks even high soft drink consumption can push you towards substance use, but such associations are expected to be stronger in case of energy drinks.

"Nearly one-third of US adolescents consume high-caffeine energy drinks or 'shots', these are the teens who also report higher rates of alcohol, cigarette or drug use," said Yvonne M. Terry-McElrath, from the institute for social research, University of Michigan.

The researchers analyzed data on nearly 22,000 US secondary school students. In response to questionnaires, about 30 percent of teens reported consumption of caffeine-containing energy drinks or shots. More than 40 percent said they drank regular soft drinks every day, while 20 percent drank diet soft drinks daily. Boys were more likely to use energy drinks than girls.

Intakes of such drinks were found higher in children who lived without parents and those whose parents were comparatively unaware and less educated. Surprisingly, children in their early teens (eighth graders) were most likely to consume energy drinks or shots.

Students who consumed energy drinks or shots were found to be inclined towards alcohol, cigarettes and illicit drugs, claimed the study. Energy drinks and shots contain high doses of caffeine to increase energy, concentration or alertness.

Energy drinks are often used together with alcohol which may 'mask' the intoxicating effects of alcohol, even without the possible link to substance use, researchers note that with their high caffeine and sugar content, energy drinks and shots aren't a good dietary choice for teens, said the study published in Journal of Addiction Medicine.


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