Is Monster your jam? Do Red Bulls give you wings? Sometimes, it feels like nothing can get you going like your favorite energy drink. But these are packed with ingredients like caffeine that can be dangerous in high doses.

Here’s what you need to know about the dark side of energy drinks and what to do if you think you or someone you know may have had too many.

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What exactly is lurking in that neon can of energy? Caffeine is the biggie. Common 16 ounce energy drinks contain 70 to 240 milligrams of caffeine per 16-ounce container. But some, like Bang Energy, can have upward of 300 milligrams. (For reference, an average 16-ounce cup of joe is about 200 milligrams of caffeine.)

Stacking energy drinks and coffee means you can get a *lot* of caffeine pretty quickly. According to the FDA, getting 400 milligrams of this stimulant per day isn’t usually associated with nasty side effects, but some people might be more sensitive to caffeine.

True caffeine toxicity, or a caffeine overdose, tends to start at about 1,000 milligrams per day for adults.

What’s the big deal about all that caffeine? Getting way too much caffeine could lead to potentially serious symptoms like an irregular heartbeat or seizures.


Energy drinks can get their “energy” from different sources. (It’s also common for several stimulants to be in one drink.) Here are some common ingredients to check for on your fave drink’s ingredient list.

Yerba mate. A tea made from parts of a South American plant. It contains caffeine.

Research shows a possible relationship between energy drink use and a range of issues, including:

heart issuesaggressive behaviorstomach acheskidney damage

Here’s a closer look at the top dangers associated with guzzling energy drinks.

1. Could hurt your heart

Caffeine is the real heartbreaker here. Several studies have also found that energy drinks increase heart rate and blood pressure. If you have these effects consistently, that can put extra pressure on your ticker and cause issues in the future.

High blood pressure is linked to a higher risk of heart failure.

2. Ramps up your anxiety

Is it worth the worry? Research shows that people who drink energy drinks can experience anxiety and other mental health issues. This could be related to the way that energy drinks affect your sleep.

Getting too much caffeine can mess up your sleep schedule and make it harder for you to fall asleep. That’s not good news for your mental health.

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3. Might cause seizures

One serious possible side effect of energy drinks are seizures. There have been seizures in young adults that are linked to getting too much caffeine.

If you have a heart condition, diabetes, or a mood disorder, be extremely careful of how much caffeine you’re getting. You may be at a higher risk of having a potentially life threatening side effect from overdoing it on energy drinks.