Energy Drinks – How Bad are They for Our Health?
Energy drinks have exploded onto the market world-wide. They are replacing our tea and coffee drinking habits. How bad are they for our health?
Energy drinks have become very popular amongst our youth and for those who want a quick pick me up. They are easily accessible and quicker to consume than boiling the kettle for a cup of tea or coffee. Many people crave caffeine and sugar, swearing that they help break through mental fog, tiredness and gives them a boost of energy.
Many of the companies that produce these energy drinks claim that the energy boost their drinks give you will last for hours. Are these energy drinks good or bad for health? This article discusses the pros and cons of energy drinks, their chemical composition and other ways you can give yourself an energy boost.
Popular energy drinks consumed world-wide include Mother, Dr Pepper, Cocaine, Duff, Jolt Cola, Monster, V and Red Bull. All of these energy drinks contain significant amounts of caffeine. The energy drink with the highest amount of caffeine is Cocaine, with a whopping 280mg per 250ml.
Apart from caffeine; energy drinks often contain the chemical Taurine. Taurine is an amino acid that can be found in meats, fish and breast milk. It helps to improve neurological functions and helps to balance water and mineral salts in the blood. There is no data yet available on the effect that Taurine has on the body over the long term.
Energy drinks also often contain B Vitamins. B vitamins stimulate improved muscular function, boost metabolic rates, supports the nervous system and other bodily systems. They are water soluble vitamins that are quickly eliminated from the body. Sometimes energy drinks contain high amounts of sugar which can give you an initial energy boost but this boost in energy quickly drops after consumption.
The Positive Benefits of Energy Drinks
- Energy Boost
Undoubtedly, energy drinks do give you an energy boost which will help you both physically and mentally to get through a period of low energy levels. They do improve mental alertness and improve physical endurance. Athletes often drink energy drinks before exercising which allows them to perform for longer periods and push themselves harder to achieve fitness goals.
The Health Concerns of Consuming Energy Drinks
- Weight Gain
Being high in sugar they are a calorie time bomb. Drinking excessive amounts of energy drinks can quickly cause you to gain weight. Obesity leads to other serious medical conditions if not addressed early. Energy drinks should only be consumed as an occasional pick me up rather than to solve a daily energy crisis.
- Damages Heart Health
Drinking excessive amounts of energy drinks takes its toll on the heart. It has been medically proven that a person can overdose on energy drinks causing high blood pressure, irregular heart beat, rapid heart beat and chest pain. It can also lead to heart attack.
- Damages the Nervous System
Occasional energy drink consumption does support improved mental alertness but taken regularly can lead to unwanted nervous system problems. Caffeine overdose can cause digital tremors and unexplained twitching of body. Caffeine can affect your sleeping patterns causing difficulty falling asleep, not getting enough sleep and waking up several times in the night. Caffeine can also cause anxiety, nervousness and irritability.