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Are Energy Drinks Really That Bad?

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Experts don't recommend the beverages, but concur most adults can handle up to one a day.

By Anna Medaris Miller

Energy drinks have been linked to heart and neurological problems, poor mental health and substance use among teens.

It all started with three or four cans of Mountain Dew a day. That was in high school. Then, in college, it was 5-Hour Energy. Two shots a day, to be exact. Later, it was a 20-ounce can of Monster each morning. At one point, Aaron Templin, now 36, had to stop – at least temporarily.

“I don’t even know how to describe it. It was too much energy – way too much energy,” says the customer service worker in Gaithersburg, Maryland, who now mostly drinks coffee and water. “It was like an out-of-body experience. It was pretty crazy.”

Sales of energy drinks and shots such as Red Bull, Monster and 5-Hour Energy are higher than ever – growing 60 percent between 2008 and 2012 to a market worth more than $12.5 billion, according to a report from the market research company Packaged Facts. The report predicted sales will eclipse $21 billion by 2017.

It's easy to see why: From working moms to doctors on the night shift, Americans' supply of good old-fashioned energy seems to be wearing thin. For Templin, the artificial type [...]

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