energy drinks are beverages which are consumed quite routinely by many people around the world. While these are better options than the sugary soft drinks, these energy drinks bring their risks and dangers. A new study claims that young college students who consume energy drinks are more likely to suffer from Substance Abuse later on in their lives.

What the study discovered

The latest study into the adverse effects ranging from the consumption of energy drinks was taken up by Dr. Amelia Arria from the University of Maryland. She and her team discovered that frequently drinking these energy drinks in college can predispose an individual to take up other addictive substances, such as alcohol, cocaine or prescription drugs, later on in life.

The highly caffeinated nature of these drinks are believed to be the cause behind this predisposition to the other addictive substances.

The researchers explained that 21-year old students who consumed these drinks every day were almost 25 percent more likely to suffer from substance abuse at a later point in life than those who did not have a habit of consuming these drinks. However, scientists indicated that more research needs to be conducted to determine whether the consumption of the same drinks in even younger people also exposes them to the same risk.

How was the study conducted?

The research involved 1,099 participants out of which 54 percent were female, and the rest were male. 72 percent of the participants were non-Hispanic whites. The study tracked and followed the rate of consumption of energy drinks of the participants for five years.

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The drinkers were categorized into three distinct groups by their frequency of consumption.

The first group was made up of those individuals who claimed to have consumed energy drinks on 52 or more days in the past year. The occasional group consisted of people who confessed having consumed the energy drinks 12 to 51 days in the last year. Lastly, the infrequent category consisted of those people who reported having consumed the drink 1 to 11 days in a year.

Over half of the participants were seen to have kept up their Energy Drink consumption rate over the course of the study. This persistent trajectory indicated that they could very easily turn toward cocaine and other addictive substances once they get over the phase of drinking these beverages. That is why consumption of these drinks may be seen as a prerogative to more dangerous substance abuse. The study also considered other factors that may push someone toward substance abuse, which makes the results even more dire for energy drink consumers.