Energy drinks are widespread across a multitude of age groups and are only growing in popularity with every passing year. They are advertised to not only boost mental clarity and reduce fatigue, but they also are promoted as “healthy” due to the B-vitamins found in many of these drinks. So, should we buy into the belief that energy drinks are a positive addition to your daily line-up? Let’s find out.
Redbulls, Monster, and Rockstar, to name a few, have many ingredients that provide energy, such as caffeine, sugar, guarana, taurine, and ginseng. All of these ingredients offer the boost of energy that a tired, worn down individual is requiring. However, many of the energy drinks that are on the market today have a higher caffeine content than advertised because the FDA does not regulate these beverages. This means that with no governing body, the amount of caffeine can be severely under-reported. Those who consume energy drinks could very well be ingesting a significantly higher amount of caffeine than the body can adequately breakdown. In addition to the false advertisement regarding the amount of caffeine, the B-vitamins found in these drinks are often too minimal to spark any positive change. The proper amount of B-vitamins needed for daily functioning will not come from these drinks but rather from adequate nutrition.
So, if the ingredients are already raising suspicion, the health effects of these drinks will raise an even bigger red flag. Energy drinks have been shown to cause a drastic increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and even heart rhythm, which is the principal change that can increase the risk of sudden cardiac death. Also, due to the high sugar content, energy drinks will raise blood sugar, which can be dangerous to those with diabetes. According to the CBHSQ report, emergency room visits involving energy drinks have doubled from 2007 to 2011. That is an outstanding statistic to show just how dangerous these drinks can be.
As with anything, if you continue to consume energy drinks, it should be done in moderation. Also, do not mix alcohol with energy drinks because it affects the metabolism of alcohol. When combined with alcohol, energy drinks can lead you to drink more without feeling the effects. Other energy-boosting alternatives are available that are less harmful to the body, such as a cup of coffee, hot lemon water, or hot tea. Instead of reaching for that energy drink for your mid-day pick me up, try one of the alternatives listed above to give you the energy boost you desire.