Energy drinks have become so popular, that they are found almost anywhere you look. Millions of people consume these drinks each month. It comes as no surprise that manufacturers are thrilled with this fact. However, the major concern is whether or not these energy drinks are bad for people’s health. People who consume these drinks regularly are likely to feel the negative side effects sooner or later. In moderation, most drinks do not cause any major health problems. Although, large consumptions over time can lead to many chronic diseases. Energy drinks side effects often include headaches, stomach problems, insomnia, tremors, spiked blood sugar levels, dehydration, blood sugar spikes, energy crashes, and a drastic increase in the heart rate.
Even worse, most brands offer sugar-free versions, as well. These sugar-free drinks are worse than the regular version due to the artificial sweeteners which they contain. The most commonly used sweetener found in these drinks is sucralose. Also, used in these energy drinks are several energy blends, like taurine, caffeine and herbs. Although herbs do not cause any major health problems, they can produce many odd side effects when you mix them with other chemicals.
Although they are packed full of empty calories, the increasing popularity of these drinks is a source of concern which continues to grow. Many young people do not appear to be knowledgeable of the potentially harmful effects that overly consuming these drinks can have. Several side effects such as headaches, nervousness, tremors and even insomnia may be incurred. If, combined with alcohol, which is encouraged by many bars, can have very fatal or deadly effects. This is because when the two are combined the heart rate becomes accelerated and raises your arterial blood level. Another huge concern is that it can mask the effects of alcohol which lead the person to take risks such as driving.
Energizing Drinks Combined with Physical Activity:
The marketing strategies, which are deployed, by this industry is trying to attract youth through many extreme sports events. Sponsorships for the drinks have been depicting many high level athletes which are involved in many sports and is suggesting to consumers that these drinks are a good source of hydration. The truth is, sports drinks such as Propel or Gatorade, do not contain caffeine like energy drinks, but vitamins, minerals, and natural sugars which are necessary for re-hydration and replenishing energy reserves.
Health Associations suggest a maximum daily consumption of 500 ml or 2 cups. This is equal to two energy drinks. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, as well as, children should avoid any consumption as these drinks are not recommended.
If a person were to drink 5 cans of a 250 ml energy drink they will consume 400 mg of caffeine or more for the day. In comparison, 2 cans of soda are equivalent to drinking 80 mg of coffee or other form of caffeine, which is the same dose found in a single can of these drinks.
Ingredients Included In Energy Drinks And Their Side Effects:
The most common ingredient found in these drinks is caffeine. Side Effects of caffeine can include dizziness, irritability, jitters, severe headaches, nausea, and nervousness. Many people have also had allergic reactions with symptoms consisting of rashes, itching, hives, breathing difficulties, tightening of the chest, insomnia, diarrhea, nervousness, and swelling of the lips, mouth, and face. Breast shrinkage in women has also been recorded as a caffeine side effect.
At this time, no side effects from have been documented for Taurine. However, when more than 35mg of Thiamine which is also B3 is consumed the skin can become flushed. An intake of 3000mg could lead to liver toxicity, while 100mg or more of B6 causes problems with the sensory nerve problems and skin lesions. Some patients have reported a burning sensation to their skin.
There are no known side effects which have been reported. However, large quantities have been known to cause some people diarrhea. A few studies have linked Inositol to sleeplessness, but others refute this. Other possible symptoms may include diarrhea, headaches, nausea, nose bleeds, spiked or low blood pressure, and pain in the breast.
While there are no side effects which have been reported, a debate still remains on the safety which has lead England, Germany, France and Canada from allowing Glucuronolactone in any non-prescription drugs or other products.
Known side effects for Ginkgo Biloba are nausea, diarrhea, headaches, vomiting, dizziness, restlessness, and heart palpitations. Also, it could interact with many per scribed medication’s such as anti-depressants or blood thinners, as well.
Nausea, vomiting, headaches, diarrhea, restlessness, stuffy nose, and insomnia are all side effects from L-Carnitine.
Other Things Worth Considering:
Synthetic vitamins and minerals:
Vitamins and minerals, which are found, in most of these drinks are synthetic, and cheaply made. The purpose of this is to help increase profits. Energy drinks usually contain many water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins B and C. Most consumer think of the drinks as being healthy when they see that it contains these vitamins. The truth is that water-soluble vitamins dissolve very fast in liquid; therefore, adding them to beverages serves no purpose. For this very reason, each time you consume one of these drinks, you are consuming a drink which is basically full of nothing but empty calories.
Refined sugars are very different from our natural sugars which we get from fruits and vegetables due to all nutrients being stripped. A body needs these nutrients to be able to utilize sugar. When these nutrients are taken away, your body is not able to metabolize sugar. The result of this can lead to toxic metabolite, which destroys cells, from interfering with the respiration process of them.
Sucralose is a well known artificial sweetener which works like refined sugar but could be toxic to your body. This sweetener is more than 100 times sweeter than sugar and is produced by chlorinating regular sugar. Some researchers claim that the sweetener does not cause any harmful effects, because it passes the digestive system unchanged. However, many independent researchers have claimed that sucralose can increase your risk of developing degenerative brain disease. Sucralose is sold in many stores under the name of Splenda, and it is a product which is used in many of sugar free products on the market.
It is important to keep in mind that when thinking of energy drinks side effects, that many ingredients also have similar effects that are negative. Therefore, with so much information, which is being, anecdotal from any patient it is hard to determine which one actually caused the health problem when the patient was consuming several combinations at one time. If, after taking all of these possible side effects in to consideration, you still choose to consume these drinks, as with anything else, please do so in moderation.