Can energy drinks be addictive?

Can energy drinks be addictive?

The notion of addiction is often associated with drugs, sugar or even screens and gambling. But energy drinks can also lead to addiction. Explanations from Alexandra Murcier, dietician-nutritionist.

There are different types of energy drinks, the best known of which is certainly Red Bull. Sweet and having the ability to give a “boost” due to the caffeine they contain, they nevertheless remain dangerous for your health when consumed in excess.

The story of James McCann, who became addicted to these drinks

In the English newspaper The Sun, we can read the story of James McCann, now 23 years old, who looks back on his addiction to energy drinks, which started when he was only 11 years old.

The young man, originally from Northern Ireland, became addicted to these drinks, which he took in place of his meals. He therefore drank four cans per day on average. Very quickly, the first symptoms appeared, firstly an inability to fall asleep, given the quantity of caffeine ingested by the young man.

Hospitalized for gastritis, due to these drinks

Ultimately, the young man ended up being hospitalized because of violent pain caused by the consumption of these drinks. Indeed, James McCann developed gastritis.

I had incredible cramps, I was curling up in pain. This pain lasted at least 20 minutes and could occur at any time. I’m not usually one to cry but this was too much.” he testifies in the columns of the newspaper.

Now weaned, he wants to share his story to warn younger people, in particular, about the risk of addiction to this type of drink. “People don’t understand how easy it is to become addicted.

How do you become addicted to energy drinks?

TipsForWomens wanted to know more and interviewed Alexandra Murcier, dietitian-nutritionist. “Energy drinks usually contain caffeine and sugar” explains the expert. “LCaffeine is a substance that can create addiction, including physical symptoms when you stop consuming it, such as headaches for example. This is why energy drinks cause physical dependence. But that’s not all: there is also a ‘psychological’ dependence: we have the impression of not being able to do without it if we start to consume it on a regular basis.” she adds.

In addition to these two types of addiction, there is also an impact due to the presence of sugar in these drinks. “Sugar is a substance which activates the reward circuits, such as that of dopamine in particular, which also participates in the phenomenon of addiction. This is why their consumption must therefore remain exceptional” she concludes.