How can you tell if your teenager’s a risk-taker? Take a look in their hand. If they’re holding an energy drink, the chances are good.

Kathleen Miller is an addiction researcher at the University of Buffalo. In a study, she and her team found a link between energy drinks, athletics and risky behavior. It’s called “toxic jock” behavior, and it’s a combination of risky and aggressive activities, including unprotected sex, substance abuse and violence.
Now their findings don’t mean the drinks cause bad behavior. But according to Miller, if your child regularly consumes energy drinks, that may be a red flag that they’re more likely to take risks with their health and safety. And athletes are often the big consumers.
Another concern about the energy drinks is that because they’re served cold; they may be consumed in larger amounts and more quickly than hot coffee drinks, which are sipped. So have a talk with your kids about those energy drinks and what’s acceptable behavior and what’s not. Their safety could depend on it.