Study links energy drinks to risky behaviors among teens

Highly caffeinated energy drink consumption is on the rise and linked to physical health and emotional issues.

NEW YORK—Consuming highly caffeinated energy drinks like Amp, Red Bull or Rockstar could be a telltale sign of other problems for high school students, according to a Canadian study.

The more often students reported drinking energy drinks, the more likely they were to also report feeling depressed, seeking out risky experiences, drinking alcohol or smoking.

"Young people tend to mix alcohol with energy drinks - and that's also a problem," lead author Sunday Azagba told Reuters Health.

Azagba is a scientist with the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

In a survey of 8,210 public high school students from the Atlantic Canadian region, 62 percent reported having at least one energy drink in the previous year. About one in five reported consuming the drinks at least once a month.

"We want to raise awareness around this issue that energy drink consumption is high among high school students," Azagba said.