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Study reveals energy drinks are the 'gateway' to a cocaine addiction

Delish logo Delish 6 days ago Lianna Hursh

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The negative side effects of energy drinks are no secret. For months (let's be honest, more like years), we've watched study after study reveal the horrific things these nasty drinks do to the human body.

They've dominated headlines: "Energy Drinks Might Be Messing Up Your Heart,""Too Many Energy Drinks Can Give You Hepatitis," and, let's not forget my personal favorite, "Your Energy Drink Isn't Getting You Through the Day, It's Killing You From The Inside."

As if I weren't dead enough on the inside already.

The amount of studies that reveal the dangers of energy drinks are seemingly endless. Yet, here we stand in 2017 … still drinking them.

In case you thought we've finally reached the point where energy drinks simply can't get worse, think again. There's a reason why you can't kick your bad habit - why you're reaching for that Monster Energy drink at 3PM despite every story, study, or article that's told you not to. These drinks are seriously addicting … so addicting in fact, that they could act as a "gateway" to cocaine, according to a new study.

Researchers found that 21- to 25-year-olds who drank large amount of sugar- and caffeine-filled products were significantly more likely to become addicted to cocaine. These participants were also at a greater risk of alcohol abuse and using amphetamines and other stimulants within five years. Yikes.

With that in mind, swallow your pride and splurge on a $5 latte next time you need that afternoon pick-me-up. You'll thank yourself later.

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Gallery: Here’s what really happens to your body when you use energy drinks (by Reader's Digest) Are energy drinks safe?: In spite of the known dangers of energy drinks, the market for them is booming. In 2016, <a href="http://www.mintel.com/press-centre/food-and-drink/energy-drink-launches-grow-29-in-five-years-as-global-sales-reach-8-8-billion-litres">research from Mintel</a> revealed that more energy drink products were launched globally in 2015 than in any year since 2008, with the number growing 29 percent between 2010 and 2015. In 2015, an incredible 8.8 billion liters were sold across the world, with the U.S. taking the largest slice of that market with volume sales of 3.3 billion liters. This is great news for energy drink manufacturers, but what are consumers really getting when they buy these drinks? Most of the major brands—such as Red Bull, Monster Energy, Rockstar Energy Drink, and NOS Energy Drink—have the same ingredients. We asked experts to reveal exactly what their ingredients do to our bodies. (By the way, here are <a href="http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/energy-boost/1">nine ways you can boost energy naturally</a>—without energy drinks.) Here’s What Really Happens to Your Body When You Use Energy Drinks

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