Energy drinks can be helpful when you need an extra boost of energy. But you may want to think twice before opening your next can. Medical professionals say all that caffeine in the drinks can be detrimental to your health in the long run, especially for children.
"It's very concerning to the medical community. They actually see more and more patients in the emergency room because of energy drinks" said Community Health Care Center Physician Assistant Jennifer Chapot.
Now, three U.S. Senators who led the fight against tobacco companies are now spear-heading a different mission. Democratic senators Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut are proposing a bill that would limit minors' access to energy drinks.
"Energy drinks have significant amounts of caffeine in them. It can stimulate the central nervous system and cause problems like heart issues and palpitations" said Chapot.
One 16 fluid ounce energy drink contains over 160mg of caffine, equal to the same amount found in 6 cans of soda.
Some students admit they've relied on energy drinks to stay awake, even back in high school like Midwestern State University Student Bella Olguin.
"I had one of those drinks around 7 ish. I was just talking and laughing and I couldn't go to sleep so it was worse the next day" she said.
"When I'm tired and I'm trying to stay awake in the afternoons I'll drink it" said another MSU student Connor Bennett.
Parents support the potential bill and want these energy drinks out of the hands of children.
"I think that kids should be probably drinking mainly water, milk and some juice instead" said Kim Grammer, mother of four children.
So instead of grabbing that can of Red Bull or Monster, Chapot says there's a better and healthier option.
"Water is actually the best thing. If they stay nice and hydrated, in the long run it will actually help them retain more information, study and stay concentrated" she said.
Recently, a Federal report revealed that the number of emergency room visits involving energy drinks doubled to nearly 21,000 people from 2007 to 2011.
The trio of Democratic senators is also focusing their efforts on the energy drink industry's marketing techniques which they claim are targeting young consumers.