It might sound a bit counterintuitive, but some scientists are calling for more research to be done into whether drinking energy drinks could make people live longer.
OK, so before we start, a quick disclaimer - energy drinks have all sorts of ingredients, and we’re really only just talking about one of them here.
Also, we’re not doctors, although some of the people we’re going to be talking about are.
Right, with that out of the way, let’s get down to the science.
Now, most energy drinks contain a substance called taurine, even the most popular ones like Red Bull.
It’s a naturally occurring amino acid, although the stuff that is in Red Bull is synthetic.
Anyway, the thing here is that scientists have been running tests on the effect of taurine on mice, and they have found that it might actually make them live longer.
What’s more, the good folks at Columbia University in New York have found that levels of taurine fell by around 80 percent with age, but if they were topped up within the body, the health of monkeys was boosted, and the life span of mice and worms was increased.
Obviously, humans are a lot different to mice and worms, but it’s still a fascinating thing to learn, right?
It’s not clear whether humans would see the same benefits as the animals that have been examined, but Dr Vijay Yadav, who led the research group, wants a large-scale test to be done to investigate.
The study saw some mice at around middle-age given taurine, whereas others weren’t.
They were then observed until the end of their life, and it turned out that those who had the taurine lasted longer than the control group.
Mice of both sexes saw increased life span by around 10 to 12 percent, whereas life expectancy at 28 months was 18 to 25 percent higher.
They also had healthier bone, muscle, immune system, fat, pancreas, brain, and gut functioning.
They found similar stuff in monkeys, too.
In the journal Science, the team wrote: "Taurine abundance decreases during aging.
"A reversal of this decline through taurine supplementation increases health span and life span in mice and worms and health span in monkeys.
“This identifies taurine deficiency as a driver of aging in these species."
"Reversal of taurine deficiency during aging may be a promising anti-aging strategy.
"Given that taurine has no known toxic effects in humans (though rarely used in concentrations used here), can be administered orally, and affects all the major hallmarks of aging, human trials are warranted to examine whether taurine supplementation increases healthy life span in humans."
As it stands, scientists aren’t advising anyone to change their taurine intake, as we aren’t sure what the real story is just yet.
Energy drinks might have a bit of taurine in them, but they also often have other stuff that might not be so good for you, too.
Prof Henning Wackerhage, from the University of Munich, said: "What we really need now is a human intervention study.
“We are raring to go."