There have not been many health benefits linked to drinking energy drinks, and they have increasingly become more common. Large amounts of caffeine and sugar that make up an energy drink can possibly have negative effects on your overall health. While energy drink consumption has been linked to side effects such as diabetes, behavioral disorders, cardiac abnormalities and seizures, is there a link between energy drinks and kidney stones? Below we explain how energy drinks may contribute to the development of kidney stones, no matter the age.
What Are Kidney Stones?
First, let’s address what kidney stones are in case you are not familiar. They are small, hard deposits that form inside of your kidneys. Kidney stones can in turn cause a lot of pain and problems within the urinary tract, from your kidneys to your bladder. There is not one single cause to the formation of kidney stones; there are different factors and conditions that can contribute to their development. When you’re experiencing kidney stones, the crystal forming substances in your urine increases and the fluid cannot dilute these substances. As a result, they stick together to form what are known as kidney stones. It is also possible there is a lack of substances to prevent crystal from sticking together at all.
Energy Drinks and Calcium Oxalate
The type of mineral component that is most commonly associated with kidney stone formation is calcium oxalate. One of the major sources of oxalates are energy drinks, along with coffee, tea, soda, nuts, spinach and chocolates. Consuming oxalates, typically drinking any type of energy drink, increases the likelihood of you developing kidney stones. If you do not drink enough water daily, you are even at a higher likelihood of developing kidney stones. This is because enough water and fluids can help dilute the oxalates and any other type of crystal-forming substance found in your urine.
Dehydration and Energy Drinks
Another major contributor to the formation of kidney stones is dehydration. Uric acid stones are the type of kidney stones that form when you are dehydrated. It also forms if you have gout, eat a high-protein diet or if you are genetically predisposed. Energy drinks have been shown to contribute to dehydration because of the caffeine amount they contain, which makes you urinate frequently and makes dehydration more likely. If you drink energy drinks with any of the aforementioned dehydration causing food and drinks, you increase your chances even more.
Energy Drinks in Children and Teens
Considering that 30 to 50 percent of adolescents and young adults consume energy drinks, and kids as young as 5 years old have kidney stones, it is a scary combination. Kidney stones in previous generations were reserved for middle-aged people but now it is affecting much younger populations. Their high sugar diet and consumption of energy drinks are mainly to blame for the rise in kidney stones in our youth. Many doctors have advised people of all ages to not drink soda or any sugar-filled drinks, such as energy drinks. If you have children, you should make sure that they make a diet change before they experience the pain of kidney stones.
Kidney Stone Treatment in New Jersey
Kidney stones can be an extremely painful experience for anyone. You will more than likely need professional help from an urologist. If you are from New Jersey, look no further than Dr. Ron Israeli. He is the leading urologist in the Livingston, NJ area. He can help with kidney stone treatment, as well as plenty of other urology and prostate cancer services. To learn more, visit our website or contact Dr. Ron today.