Energy drinks are highly-caffeinated beverages that also contain a high amount of vitamins, minerals, and stimulants, such as ginseng, guarana, and taurine. They’re advertised to improve your concentration, energy, and physical performance, but in reality, they might be doing the opposite and have a multitude of profound negative effects on both your physical and mental health. One particular danger about energy drinks is that manufacturers are not required to disclose what ingredients go into formulating the popular beverages.
According to the JAHA study, the number of energy drink-related emergency room visits doubled between 2007 and 2011. The uptick in emergency room visits coincided with the Food and Drug Administration’s findings of 34 energy drink-related deaths over the course of several years. Energy drinks have been "associated with cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction, spontaneous coronary dissection, and coronary vasospasm," per the JAHA study.
And the problem is growing – the global energy drink market continues to grow. It was worth $39 billion in 2013 and is forecast to reach $61 billion by 2021.
1. Energy Drinks Cause Kidney and Liver Damage
Energy drinks have caffeine, which are dehydrating, especially in such high doses, i.e. many of these drinks contain 215 mg of caffeine or more than can be found in 2 cups of coffee.
2. Increased Risk of Heart Problems for Those Who Consume Energy Drinks
Livescience reported a case where "a 28-year-old Australian man suffered cardiac arrest after consuming eight cans of an energy drink, containing 80 mg of caffeine each, over seven hours." Heart attacks and hypertension are some of the other common conditions associated with energy drinks.
3. These Beverages Can Impair Cognitive Functioning and Mental Health
Highly-caffeinated drinks can actually impair cognition in a variety of ways. One study, for example, found that high doses of caffeine (80 ml, equal to about a can of RedBull) worsen concentration and make you even more tired than you already were. Energy drinks are also associated with increased anxiety and stress. Energy drinks can also disrupt sleep patterns, cause heart palpitations and anxiety, contribute to digestive programs, increase blood pressure and lead to dehydration, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). Finally, taurine, another common ingredient in energy drinks, is well known to cause neurological symptoms, such as loss of balance and vertigo in patients with kidney problems.
4. Consuming Energy Drinks May Increase the Risk of Miscarriage
Caffeine consumption in doses exceeding 200 mg a day, irrespective of the source – coffee, energy drinks, chocolate, or soft drinks – may increase the risk of miscarriage according to research from 2006. The study is the only one to confirm these results, but pregnant women should still be wary of their caffeine intake.
5. Energy Drinks Don’t Mix Well With Alcohol
When we consume alcohol, we typically develop toxicity symptoms once ethanol starts building up in our system. We call these toxicity symptoms ‘being drunk’. These symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, flushed cheeks, and slurred or incoherent speech. If you mix energy drinks with alcohol, these symptoms may become less noticeable, which is a problem, since you will drink more than you can handle and doing so has been systematically shown to increase one’s risk of alcohol dependence, alcohol poisoning, and ultimately – alcohol-induced liver damage.
6. Digestive Issues
High levels of niacin, a common ingredient in energy drinks, have been associated with stomach cramps and other digestive issues, especially in people already suffering from peptic ulcers or ulcerative colitis. Reviews also report a higher incidence of obesity in those who consume energy drinks regularly, so they may also contribute to weight gain.
7. It can accelerate your diabetes
Energy drinks typically contain high amounts of added sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners. In fact, an average 500-milliliter/16.9-ounce can contains roughly 54 grams (g) of sugar, the review found, which is well beyond the American Heart Association’s recommendation of no more than 36 g per day for men.
- Children "should not consume" them, cautions the American Academy of Pediatrics. For adolescents, 12 to 18, the academy recommends that they should not exceed 100 milligrams of caffeine a day, according to the CDC.
- The body needs sleep. Seven to eight hours of sleep is normal for adults, and even more for children. Don’t use an energy drink as a substitute for good sleep habits
- If you are tired, check for underactive thyroid or another medical condition that’s causing you to be tired.
Source: AAP, Internet & Others
The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.