What Are Energy Drinks
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Energy drinks are used to increase energy with claims of contributing to mental alertness and helping your physical performance. Energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement next to multivitamins. These drinks are mainly consumed by teens and men between the years of eighteen and thirtyfive years old. Men between the ages of 18 and 34 years consume the foremost energy drinks, and almost onethird of teens between 12 and 17 years drink them regularly.
There are two kinds of energy drink products. The type you get in a can and one you get in a shot. Caffeine is a major ingredient in energy drink products. Most energy drinks contain caffeine levels between 70 to 505 mg. The levels in something like colas are around 113 to 240 mg per 16 oz can. Coke and diet cola contain between 32 to 42 mg of caffeine in a 12-ounce can. A regular-sized cup of coffee has approximately 100 mg. Energy drinks also may contain other ingredients like guarana (another source of caffeine sometimes called Brazilian cocoa), sugars, taurine, ginseng, B vitamins, glucuronolactone, Yohimbe, carnitine, and bitter orange.
Energy shots are a more concentrated sort of energy drink and contain a bigger amount of the first ingredient, caffeine.
Negative Effects Energy Drinks
Between 2007 and 2011, the amount of energy-related visits to emergency departments doubled. In 2011, 1 in 10 of those visits resulted in hospitalization. Energy drinks are getting more popular. It is estimated that about twenty-five percent of college students consume energy drinks mixed with alcohol, in most cases, this ends up in binge or excessive consumption of these mixed cocktails. Of course, there are many who choose one or the other.
Energy drinks in Canada and the U.S. are estimated to reach around 1.03 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. This is an increase of approximately 0.2 billion U.S. dollars in sales since 2017. Within this category, it is forecasted to be the highest-selling type of drink in 2022.
The Risks of Energy Drinks
Many ingredients found in energy drinks are natural and may sound like a healthy choice, however, these energy drinks come with certain risks. The number of energy-related visits to emergency departments has doubled with some kind of intoxication. These numbers have been steadily climbing since these drinks were introduced to the consumer who is looking for that shortlived boost of energy. The estimated cases in emergency departments have risen from 10,068 to 20,783.
It is important not to gulp down an energy drink as this can result in some specific unsavory outcomes. These outcomes can be avoided by choosing alternate and more healthy ways to support your energy levels. Sleep is essential to your energy levels, something like a simple fifteen minute walk and your diet are all contributing factors to your energy levels and mental clarity. Remember these drinks are high in caffeine content.
Effects Of Too Much Caffeine
There is a health condition called caffeine intoxication. This leads to increased heartbeat, seizures, throwing up, and more. The energy drinks that contain the greatest content of caffeine carry the most severe risks. If you’re choosing an energy drink with excessive amounts of this stimulant, you’ll notice your heart beating in a way that you simply aren’t accustomed to.
Insomnia and difficulty falling asleep have also been linked to the consumption of energy drinks. Not sleeping well can cause an individual to feel sluggish the subsequent day, leading them to hunt for an answer for his or her lack of energy.
Consuming energy drinks is linked to increased nervousness. If you’re generally a more anxious person, regularly drinking these beverages might not be the simplest match for you.
Combining energy drinks with other substances, like cannabis, alcohol, or tobacco has become a commonplace habit, some may even call it a “gateway drink”. So, if you’re regularly drinking energy drinks, it appears that the probability of partaking in other unhealthy behaviors is increased also.
Men may experience fertility challenges.
While sugar can contribute to lowered sperm counts, caffeine can actually damage the DNA in a man’s sperm count which is lowered, due to the high sugar content. Also, damage within the sperm can be caused due to high caffeine intake and may cause problems when it comes to fertilization of the egg. Add in herbs like Ginkgo Biloba, ginseng, and guarana – all of which can give you heart palpitations, headaches, and fatigue when combined with caffeine and sugar – this may cause you to feel like you do not want to conceive.
Drinking energy drinks can increase systolic vital signs within a quick period of time after drinking. If you’re trying to manage your vital signs in a healthy way, energy drinks aren’t the simplest beverage to incorporate into your diet for this reason.
Increase blood glucose.
Drinking energy drinks may cause your blood sugars to increase. Therefore anyone who suffers from diabetes should really be cautious when choosing to consume an energy drink.
Since energy drinks are often made with sugar and therefore the pH values are below the critical value related to dental erosion, drinking them can wreak havoc on your dental health. Specifically, dental erosion and cavity risk can increase.
May increase the risk of obesity.
Drinking sugary drinks doesn’t support weight management goals. If you are drinking energy you are at risk of developing obesity.
Can make heartburn worse.
You are also at risk of heartburn and acid reflux when you consume stimulants such as caffeine and energy drinks. Energy drinks like Rockstar, Monster, and Red Bull, may contain up to 5 times more caffeine than a cup of coffee. Although they’ll offer you wings and make your workout desire a breeze, energy drinks also spike vital signs and stress levels and increase the danger of heart problems in otherwise healthy young adults.
Most Common Ingredients In An Energy Drink
In small quantities, caffeine may boost energy, alertness, and athletic performance. Limit yours to 200 mg at a time, no more than twice a day.
There’s no evidence this East Asian herb does a thing to boost energy and it’s actually been shown to decrease exercise endurance. Since it lowers blood sugar, avoid it if you’re taking diabetes medication.
3. B Vitamins
Any excess of these water-soluble nutrients (B6, B12, niacin, folic acid) is quickly flushed out of your body, so they’re fairly safe. But experts agree they are unlikely to pep you up, despite what drink labels indicate.
Some energy drinks can pack up to 62 grams of sugar or 15 1/2 teaspoons’ worth per 16-ounce can.
That can easily stack up to 250 calories, about as much as A 20-ounce bottle of cola. Just to understand how much sugar this is fill a glass with 15 1/2 teaspoons of sugar.
An amino acid, which may boost athletic performance and metabolism. Taurine is generally
considered safe in doses of up to 3,000 mg a day.
6. Green Tea Extract
Used to deliver a kick without the jolt, this extract delivers small amounts of caffeine. While studies confirm it’s a top source of cancer-fighting antioxidants, there’s not enough research to back up claims that it can lower blood pressure or help you slim down.
This extract, from the seeds of the South American guarana plant, delivers twice the caffeine of coffee per weight. Its claims (that it stimulates weight loss and fights fatigue) are shaky at best.
8. Green Coffee Extract
Made from unroasted coffee beans, this newcomer lacks coffee taste but still supplies caffeine.
Claims that the extract promotes weight loss have yet to be backed up by research.
9. Ginkgo Biloba
Made from the leaves of the ancient Chinese ginkgo tree, this herb is said to fight mental fatigue and improve memory. Yet the research regarding these claims is conflicting. A new National Toxicology Program study links ginkgo extract to thyroid and liver cancers in mice.
This amino acid purportedly pumps up endurance and promotes fat burning. Since we only need extra carnitine if we’re deficient (which is rare), it’s fairly useless to get more. Less than 3 grams a day is generally considered to be safe; more can lead to stomach upset and possibly seizures.
Well if you look at the ingredients they really do not seem so unhealthy. But you will notice you have to make some sacrifices for this energy boost. Is it worth it?
What Happens When You Consume These Ingredients
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system giving the body a sense of alertness. It also raises the heart rate, raises blood pressure, and dehydrates the body.
Taurine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the human body. However, the version found in energy drinks is manufactured.
It helps regulate heartbeat, muscle contractions, and energy levels. Usually, the body makes enough taurine so there is no need to supplement.
Guarana comes from a plant native to South America. Some people do respond differently to guarana as compared with regular caffeine, which is commonly used in energy drinks. Some report that guarana provides more alertness, while others believe it doesn’t have as good of a stimulating effect.
Sugars Standard energy drinks contain a lot of sugar, and therefore, energy. However, too much sugar intake has been linked to obesity, and diabetes, and can spike insulin levels, which often leads to a “crash-like” feeling after about an hour or so. Energy drinks can become addictive because of the rise and drop in energy levels.
One Rockstar energy drink can have 63 grams of sugar which is the same amount in two regular-size Snickers candy bars!
Most energy drinks have sugar-free versions that contain artificial sweeteners.
Even energy drinks that contain high amounts of sugar will also include artificial sweeteners to help cover the medicinal taste of the other energy drink ingredients.
The debate rages on concerning the safety of artificial sweeteners and some studies have shown that those who consume sugar-free drinks, on average, have bigger waistlines than those who don’t.
One of the major critiques of energy drinks is that not all are well-regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That means energy drink companies can market their products as dietary supplements and forgo a nutrition facts label, leaving consumers to wonder whether what they see is what they get, says Ruth Litchfield, an associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University.
Even FDA-approved energy drinks aren’t required to disclose how much caffeine and other stimulants they contain, she adds. “That’s the biggest problem I see: It’s not required on the label, and in most cases, they are not disclosing the total stimulant dose in the product for people to make an educated decision.”
Those with underlying heart conditions have gone into cardiac arrest after just a few energy drinks.
Headaches and Migraines:
Too many energy drinks can lead to severe headaches from caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
Large doses of caffeine can spur full-blown panic attacks.
Energy drinks do a good job of keeping people awake, but when abused, they can cause some people to miss sleep altogether. This lack of sleep causes impaired functioning and can be dangerous to drive or perform other concentration-heavy tasks.
Because many energy drinks are also very high in sugar, they can eventually wear out the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, which leads to type 2 diabetes.
Some of the ingredients in energy drinks can interact with prescription medications, especially medications taken for depression.
People can become addicted to caffeine and energy drinks. This can lead to a lack of functioning when unable to have the energy drink or financial stress from having to buy several energy drinks daily.
There was a study published in The Journal of American College Health that showed that teens are more likely to take dangerous risks when high on caffeine.
Jitters and Nervousness:
Too much caffeine from energy drinks causes some people to shake and be anxious. This can interfere with performing needed tasks or cause emotional issues.
Too many energy drinks can lead to vomiting. This causes dehydration and acid erosion of teeth and esophagus if frequent.
Because of the many ingredients in energy drinks, reactions could occur, from minor itching to airway constriction.
High Blood Pressure:
Caffeinated products like energy drinks can elevate a person’s blood pressure. For those with normal blood pressure, this isn’t concerning, but those with already elevated blood pressure could be placing themselves at risk of stroke and other health problems related to hypertension if they consume too many energy drinks in a short period of time.
Niacin (Vitamin B3) is placed in most energy drinks at levels that cause no harm and can even be therapeutic. However, if a person is taking additional supplements containing Niacin, overdosing on the vitamin is possible when consuming energy drinks in addition to those supplements.
Symptoms include; Skin flushing, dizziness, rapid heart rate, vomiting, itching, gout, and diarrhea.
Mental Health Problems, Aggression, and Fatigue:
Drinking 2+ energy drinks a day is more likely to cause mental health issues, aggression, and fatigue.
I personally think that it is common for most people to look for quick fixes. Unfortunately, most of these quick fixes carry consequences. Please, do your research. Take into consideration the good versus the bad and make an informed decision as to whether these energy drinks are good for you. Most big companies will always put profit before your health.
Thank you for reading.
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