Study looks at brain injuries and energy drink consumption

Brain injuries can be some of the most catastrophic and life-altering injuries a person can suffer. Depending on the extent of the damage done by an accident, fall or blow to the head, a person can experience a complete change or loss in memory, coordination, social function and cognitive skills if their brain is injured.

Scientists and the medical community have conducted extensive research and continue to try and understand as much as they can about brain injuries and how or if people can recover from them. Recently, studies showed that there may be a connection between teen brain injuries and the use of energy drinks that has researchers looking at what they feel is a common denominator: sports.

According to a survey of about 10,270 kids in middle and high school, kids who have suffered a traumatic brain injury in the last year were also more likely to have consumed energy drinks in the previous week. Further, students who suffered a TBI while playing sports were much more likely to report drinking energy drinks than students who were injured in other ways.

This, according to researchers, suggests that there could be a link between young people, energy drinks and sports. 

However, representatives for the beverage industry deny that there is any link between energy drinks and brain injuries and note that many energy drinks have about as much caffeine as other beverages and are well-labeled to inform consumers. To suggest that there is a link between brain injuries and energy drink consumption, they argue, is inaccurate and misleading.

The survey certainly is interesting and may prompt some discussions about youth consumption of energy drinks at school, on sports teams and at home.

Brain injuries can be devastating and there may be ways to prevent them in many cases, However, in the aftermath of a brain injury, the focus can and should shift to how the victim and his or her family will cope with the situation and pursue support for the future. If this includes discussions about government financial support, speaking with an attorney can be crucial. 

Source: TIME, “Study Links Energy Drinks and Traumatic Brain Injury in Teens,” Alexandra Sifferlin, Sept. 16, 2015