People in the US consume a lot of caffeine — 80% of us have some sort of caffeinated beverage every day. Everybody has their own caffeine-loaded drink of choice, from double lattes to ice-cold cola to strong-brewed green tea. More and more, however, people (and especially young people) are turning to less healthy caffeine options, like chemical-loaded energy drinks. While energy drinks aren’t always inherently bad, studies show that more and more people are using them in excess, often drinking many a day in order to stay awake and alert—and the effects can take a serious toll. Energy drinks are loaded with caffeine, much like coffee or many sodas, but energy drinks are also often chock-full of other energy-giving, unhealthy substances. Among students, energy drinks are being consumed at heightened rates in unhealthy qualities, and in tandem with this, hospitalizations and even deaths related to energy drink consumption have seen a considerable uptick in recent years. While an occasional energy drink for most healthy people is harmless, when energy drinks are consumed at high volumes, and when they’re paired with alcohol, the risks become much higher. The following infographic takes a look at how the energy drink market has grown, and what some of the health impacts of this could be for those who consume them.
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