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January 16, 2013

Risks of Energy Drinks Mixed With Alcohol

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Emergency Medicine, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Howland); and Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University and VA Medical Center, Providence, Rhode Island (Dr Rohsenow).

JAMA. 2013;309(3):245-246. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.187978

The energy drink market is a multibillion-dollar industry that uses aggressive and innovative marketing strategies to target teens and young adults. Consequently, 31% of young teens and 34% to 51% of 18- to 24-year-olds report regular consumption of these products.1

Energy drinks contain caffeine and often other substances such as guarana (containing guaranine, similar to caffeine), taurine (an amino acid), and sugar derivatives. The primary active ingredient is caffeine, usually with 80 to 141 mg of caffeine per 8 oz (equivalent to a 5-oz cup of coffee or 2 cans of soda).

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