Energy drinks and alcohol mixed with energy drinks have become increasingly popular in Europe over the last decade. As a result of marketing activities, the energy drink containing taurine, caffeine, guarana, carnitine, ginseng, folic acid, preservatives, B-vitamins and other substances, has become a symbol of a young, active and fit person, even though consumption of energy drinks is frequently related to negative side effects for physical and mental health.
Scientific literature emphasises that energy drinks have a devastating effect on the human body. Stimulation of the body is soon followed by exhaustion and the need for boosting the energy level, which may lead to an addiction. Excessive caffeine intake leads to obesity, persistent anxiety and fatigue and long-term insomnia, or even to emotional and addictive disorders classified under the International Classification of Diseases.
In 2009, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the effects of two ingredients of energy drinks on the human body without studying their effects on children. So far, there is no reliable research into the effects of all the ingredients of energy drinks, thus no one can guarantee that consumption of energy drinks is safe.
Due to adverse health and behavioural effects of energy drinks, in particular on children, and a high risk of disorders of the brain, heart and other organs and even a danger posed to life, the initiative to restrict the availability of energy drinks in one or another way is rapidly gaining popularity in various countries.
Consequently, we encourage the Parliamentary Assembly to analyse the adverse effects of energy drinks and promoting restrictions on selling energy drinks to children. Member States must be concerned about children's health and ensure a high level of protection for society, particularly for children and adolescents.