Energy drink consumption may increase risk for osteoporosis

Millions of Americans drink energy beverages every day in order to be alert and have increased stamina. However, many of these drinks have dangerous levels of caffeine that may cause conditions such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, Physical Therapy reports.

In the most recent issues of The Physician and Sportsmedicine, researchers at Nova Southeastern University found that frequent energy drink consumption may cause adverse effects.

"The FDA limits caffeine in soft drinks to 71 mg/12 fluid ounce," Stephanie Ballard, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the university's West Palm Beach campus, told the news source. "But energy drinks can contain as much as 505 mg of caffeine in a single container - the equivalent of drinking 14 cans of Coca-Cola."

Caffeine has been reported to cause insomnia, nervousness, arrhythmias, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and childbirth complication, gastrointestinal upset and death.

These drinks, which are classified as dietary supplements, are in a regulatory gray area, which allows the makers to sidestep the caffeine limitations assigned to foods and soft drinks, the news source reports.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately eight million women and two million men have been diagnosed with the condition in the U.S.