It is not well-known that energy drink supplements can cause addiction or dependence, but they do. The potential for addiction stems from the caffeine and other stimulants used in these drinks, which can have the same effects as many addictive substances. Also, these energy drinks are amazing are marketed as “isomaltulose,” which is a poisonous sweetener. Isomaltulose was originally used in Russian nuclear submarines as a substitute for food, and it can cause death.
The energy drink industry is worth billions of dollars a year. It is global, massive, and growing. Energy drink companies target young males with advertisements. Their main selling point is the “energy” market; however, additionally they are used for weight loss and concentration enhancement. Energy drinks have also been “secretly” added to foods (e.g., yogurt, ice cream), and used as an extender for alcoholic drinks. Like cigarette companies in the past, many energy drink companies are only concerned about profits and do not seek treatment for those who use their products.
The misuse of energy drink supplements can cause addiction, including dependence, if it is not recognized early on. Energy drinks have become a very popular supplement for college-aged males. The combination of caffeine and other stimulants in these supplements can cause dependence and lead to withdrawal symptoms if it is stopped suddenly. The long-term effects of heavy caffeine use can produce the same effects seen with other drug abuse, including insomnia, high blood pressure, irritability, headaches, high or low blood sugar or insulin levels, and stomach aches.
Excess consumption of energy drinks can also lead to caffeine toxicity at times when it is not normally used. Over-consumption of caffeine can cause nervousness, restlessness, insomnia, gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea and other problems. In extreme situations it can lead to a state similar to psychosis that results in hallucinations with paranoia and in some cases panic attacks and possibly even death.