Energy Drinks a Buzz Kill?

popular energy drinksHave you ever tossed back an energy drink before your first meeting of the day or in the midst of that late-afternoon slump? If you have, you might want to talk to SMC Biology Professor Vidya Chandrasekaran, who made waves recently with a study in Prevention magazine, entitled “The Bizarre Reason To Skip the Energy Drink,” that pointed to potentially hazardous effects of these types of beverages.

After the study was published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, KCBS news radio also interviewed her about the FDA probe into one energy drink that was launched after five deaths were attributed to consumption of the highly caffeinated beverage.

Chandrasekaran and several of her current and former summer research students —Wayne Doyle ’11, Eric Shide ’13 and Slesha Thapa ’14—found that energy drinks can slow the healing rate of animal cells. Based on the early research, she said, concern about the amount of caffeine and other stimulants, like ginseng and guarana, in these beverages appears to be well founded, and more research is needed to discover the true effects of these supercharged concoctions.

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