Association warns against energy drinks

Energy drinks may help students stay up late to cram for exams, but they also pose serious health risks, the American Association of Poison Control Centers warned this week.

Alexandria, VA-based AAPCC cautions that energy drinks often are not clearly labeled, making it difficult to discern the amount of caffeine or other added stimulants in the product.

"Many energy drinks aren't clearly labeled with caffeine content because some sources of caffeine may be natural ingredients, such as guarana, yerba mate or cacao," said Barbara Insley Crouch, director of the Utah Poison Control Center.

Health effects of improperly consumed energy drinks can include nausea, vomiting, tremors, insomnia, delirium, sweating, headache, seizures and an increased heart rhythm. Additionally, energy drinks act as a diuretic and increase dehydration, which may be of particular concern to student athletes.

People with questions or concerns about energy drinks can contact their local poison control center at (800) 222-1222.

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