An Introduction Energy drinks are non-alcoholic, often lightly carbonated beverages that are designed to give the consumer a burst of energy by the addition of a number of energy enhancing ingredients, most notably caffeine. They are commonly available in grocery stores, corner stores and gas stations, usually displayed alongside soft drinks, juices and sports drinks.
Energy drinks are becoming more popular nowadays. In fact, instead of reaching a cup of coffee, people are drinking energy drinks for a quick buzz. Teenager is actually the biggest fan of energy drink.
Are there side effects from the ingredients in Energy Drinks?
The “Magical” Ingredients In general, these drinks have one thing in common: They all contain a lot of sugar and/or caffeine. These could be considered the “active ingredients.” So before you go bragging about how powerful a certain drink was and how its natural ingredients helped you wake up in the morning or dance all night, consider that you probably got more of a sugar rush than anything else.
As the safety of an energy drink debate rages on we thought we would take a look at the other side of the issue. Since we are huge energy drink fans, its easy to preach their greatness and forget that we are putting chemicals into our body in sometimes huge quantities.
We will take a look at the most common ingredients and list the potential side effects from ingesting them through your favorite energy drink.
Caffeine Of course this is the most common energy drink ingredient and most of you know the side effects, but the list wouldn’t be complete without it. Dizziness, irritability, nausea, nervousness, jitters. Allergic reactions can include; rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the (mouth, face, lips, or tongue),diarrhea, shakiness, trouble sleeping, vomiting. Headache and severe fatigue from withdrawal. Breast shrinkage in females. It’s hard to pin point a safe dose because it varies from person to person and tolerance. Between.5 grams to 1 gram in a 24 hour period will probably result in some of the above side effects. Taurine There is apparently no evidence that it has any major influence but it is possible that it does indeed have some effect on the body which leads to the feeling of having more energy.
B Vitamins - More than 35mg of Thiamine (B3) can cause flushing of the skin. Intake of 3000mg or more can result in liver toxicity. More than 100mg of B6 can cause sensory nerve problems (burning sensation) or skin lesions. Inositol - A member of the vitamin B complex (not a vitamin itself, because the human body can synthesize it) that helps relay messages within cells in the body. No known side effects have been reported, but ingesting large quantities has been linked to diarrhea. Ginseng - A root believed by some to have several medicinal properties, including reducing stress and boosting energy levels. Other possible symptoms include; nausea, diarrhea, headaches, nose bleed, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, and breast pain. Guarana seed - A stimulant that comes from a small shrub native to Venezuela and Brazil.
Glucuronolactone While no side effects have been reported there’s still debate on its safety which has lead Canada, England, Germany, and France from allowing it in non-prescription products. Artificial sweeteners If you like the sugar-free variety there is ongoing debate over the safety of these. Ginkgo Biloba nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, and restlessness. Can interact with other medication such as blood thinners and anti-depressants. L-Carnitine An amino acid that plays a role in fatty acid metabolism. vomiting, nausea, headache, diarrhea, stuffy nose, restlessness and sleeping difficulty. Creatine - An organic acid that helps supply energy for muscle contractions.
Its important to note with these energy drink side effects that many ingredients have similar negative effects, so with much of the information being anecdotal from patients it’s hard to say which ingredient actually caused the problems if the patient was ingesting several combinations of these at one time.
Energy drinks are supposed to do just what the name implies -- give you an extra burst of energy. As it turns out, most of that "energy" comes from two main ingredients: sugar and caffeine. A typical energy drink can contain up to 80 milligrams of caffeine (about the same amount as a cup of coffee). By comparison, a 2006 study found that the average 12- ounce soda contains 18 to 48 mg of caffeine.
Other than caffeine levels, how do energy drinks differ from sodas and sports drinks? Soft drinks are mainly water, sugar and flavoring. They don't do anything for your body; they're just supposed to taste good. Sports drinks are designed to replenish fluids lost during activity. They typically contain water, electrolytes and sugar. Energy drinks have added caffeine and other ingredients that their manufacturers say increase stamina and "boost" performance. They're designed for students, athletes and anyone else who wants an extra energy kick.
How Does Energy Drink Give You The Boost? All energy drinks contains caffeine. Caffeine may be legal, but it is a stimulant drug. It works by blocking the chemical that makes us naturally drowsy when you are tired. The chemical is called adenosine and it is used to dilating the blood vessels. Without this chemical, caffeine causes the brain’s blood vessels to constrict (to become tighter and narrower). Your body will then increase heart rate to increase the blood pressure so that blood can flow to our brain and muscles. You will get the boost.
Most energy drink, except those are labeled as “sugar free”, are high in sugar. The sugar contained in each can ranges from 5 to 8 teaspoons. The recommended sugar is no more than 6 to 7 teaspoons a day. Sugar gives you a quick bump of energy. However, this boost is short lived because your body will quickly release insulin to lower the blood sugar level. When this happens, the energy level will be lowered too.
When you buy a can of energy drink next time, do not be only attracted by the big words of boosting your athletic performance, you may want to check whether that is a fine print recommending you not to drink more than 2 cans a day. Be critical when reading labels. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
In short, energy drink just gives you a temporary fix. Don’t drink it often. After all, energy drink is just a stiff dose of caffeine and sugar. It may not be harmful, but it just does not live up to most of the claims it makes. You don’t need energy drink. Drink water, fruit juice and milk instead. If you are tired all the time, make sure you get enough rest and sleep each night. People who eat well and exercise regularly will have plenty of energy, the natural way.
There are hundreds of energy drinks on the market, but most of them contain very similar ingredients.
Swap your energy drink with better alternative So…