Are these caffeinated beverages really that bad?
You have a huge assignment due tomorrow and you’re nowhere near done. What do you do? A coffee might help, but you might want to stop right there if you thought about downing an energy drink.
Energy drinks are readily available in supermarkets and we may be tempted to consume them, knowing that they give us an instant and almost powerful boost of energy. Others may gulp their favourite electrifyingly tantalising energy drink right before their workouts without thinking about what these beverages contain. What are the ingredients that give you so much energy?
Most energy drinks are a concentrated concoction of sugar, caffeine, vitamins, minerals and other stimulants. These ingredients definitely have short-term benefits of enhancing your focus and stamina, but the dangers definitely outweigh these benefits.
A study published in Frontiers revealed the effects that energy drinks have on the human body. The publisher of the study, Assistant Professor of Nutrition at Harvard, Dr Josiemer Mattei shared that high amounts of sugar and caffeine lead to health risks such as substance misuse, anxiety and stress, increased blood pressure, kidney damage and fatigue. Dr Mattei also raised how there is not much current research on the added stimulants in such drinks.
She concluded that one should limit their consumption of such drinks, especially children and adolescents since there are no restrictions on young children purchasing such drinks.
Although such drinks are marketed to promote a higher energy drive, stamina and focus, be warned to limit your children’s consumption of energy drinks. The sugary taste of such drinks also appeals to the taste buds of young people which might get them addicted. Sometimes, these beverages may contain even more caffeine than a regular cup of coffee!
Another study by the University of Waterloo included a survey that questioned the energy drinking habits of over 2000 people. The results revealed that 55% of the surveyors who have had an energy drink before have experienced either a rapid heartbeat, nausea or in extreme cases, a seizure.
Additionally, there is also a worrying trend of mixing energy drinks with alcohol. Energy drinks, if taken with alcohol, dull the effect of alcohol on your body which inadvertently allows drinkers to ingest more alcohol. Having too much alcohol in your system dehydrates you and even increases the chance of getting alcohol poisoning.
So as sweet as some energy drinks might taste, you’re better off looking for other drink mixers!