Monday, July 23, 2007
Medical Reports: Medical: Buzz Off
Are your teenagers downing the latest energy drinks packed with caffeine? Doctors warn they can be spiked with danger. Seven's Richard Lemus shows us when you should Buzz Off these drinks.
WSVN -- They pop 'em and guzzle 'em. Kids and teenagers are getting pumped up on energy drinks. High school senior Dustin Javins knocks back a 24 ounce can everyday.
Dustin Javins: "I like the taste of it, it gives you a really good energy rush."
He's also hooked on the jolt it gives him at the gym.
Dustin Javins: "When you work out you feel like, 'Man, I could actually get this weight up.' You feel like you can do more than you actually can."
Many teenagers don't just stop at one for that boost of energy. On YouTube, kids are posting videos of themselves "shotgunning" four or five energy drinks at a time, something that has doctors alarmed.
Dr. David Ancona, Cardiologist at Memorial Hospital West: "These energy drinks that are now on the market can pose potential threats for kids and teenagers."
Doctors warn that kids don't even realize what they're drinking. Many drinks boast an energy blend of caffeine and ingredients like Taurine and Guarana, acids and fruits which accelerate caffeine's effects.
Doctors say another problem is the drinks also don't reveal how much caffeine is already inside.
One can often contains two or three servings, so you're getting a double or triple dose.
Dr. David Ancona: "What they're taking is unknown, and many of these kids will take more than one can."
Too much caffeine can cause heart palpitations, dizziness or breathlessness, especially in smaller bodies that are more susceptible to caffeine, and, for young people who might not know they have a heart problem, these drinks can pack a deadly punch.
Dr. David Ancona: "If you have a heart susceptible to dysrhythmias, it can induce dysrhythmias, which can be catastrophic."
After checking the label on his daily Jolt, Dustin hopes to rely on his natural energy from now on.
Dustin Javins: "Never looked at the label before. It will definitely make me re-think drinking these before I come to the gym."
Richard Lemus: "Downing these drinks can also lead to significant dehydration. Doctors say they should not be substituted for water."