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Health Risks and Side Effects of Energy Drinks

Energy drink is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It mainly consists of caffeine, taurine, B vitamins, high- fructose corn syrup/sugar, guarana, carbonated water, various forms of ginseng, ginkgo Biloba, yerba mate, açaí, maltodextrin, sodium, L- carnitine, inositol, etc. Non- carbonated and sugar-free versions are also available in the market to attract health-conscious consumers.

But think wisely! Do these energy drinks genuinely dispense any energy into your body?

Teens and young adults are the master shoppers of power drinks. They feel escalated mental alertness and physical strength after consuming power drinks. That’s why this beverage is consumed on regular basis by one-third of the global population between the ages of 16 and 34 years. But there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that it enhances the strength and stamina of muscles.

Literally, the side effects of energy drinks on the body are notable as caffeine is the predominant component of the beverage. Though experts believe that a healthy adult can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine in a day, but consumption of energy beverages on regular basis can be hazardous to your health.

List of short-term and long-term side effects of energy drinks

  • Increased heart rate, poor mental health, high blood pressure, insomnia, dehydration, heart palpitations, anxiety, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay are the major side effects of energy drinks on the body.
  • A teenager undergoing changes due to puberty can have serious health issues due to such power drinks. Excess intake of caffeine puts a bad effect on the proper development of the cardiovascular, psychological, and nervous systems of adolescents.
  • Regular consumption of energy drinks for an extended period of time can affect the metabolism of your body, which directly results in obesity and other health risks.
  • The probability of binge- drinking rises significantly when alcohol is consumed with energy drinks.
  • Consumption of alcohol diluted with energy drinks leads to comparatively more cases of crime like rape and accident which proves the side effects of energy drinks on the brain.
  • Side effects of energy drinks on kidneys are also indicated in research as there is a direct correlation between high sugar intake and escalated risk to kidneys.
  • Aggressive behavior and irritated bowel are also associated with increased intake of energy drinks.
  • Regular and extreme intake of power drinks can also lead to seizures and cardiac arrest.

How many energy drinks can I drink in a day?

Can I drink Redbull every day? How many Monsters can I drink daily? Every energy drink lover seeks answers to these questions. As already stated, it is generally safe to consume 400 mg of caffeine in a day. But still, it is not advisable to guzzle any such beverage on regular basis- neither Redbull nor Monster or any other energy drink. You can safely consume 2-3 servings of power drinks in a week. Not more than one serving of energy drinks should be consumed in a day to the uttermost.

Can energy drinks give you a heart attack?

The answer is ‘Yes’. This is what happens if you drink it every day. They are high in caffeine and contain multiple energy-boosting ingredients which put side effects on heart health. Abnormal heart rate and sudden cardiac arrest are also linked with the regular consumption of energy drinks. In 2019, a 26 years old man from Texas had died due to a heart attack triggered by energy drink habits. He was consuming 8-10 cans of energy drinks every day which led to a blood clot and blockage in his heart.

How energy drinks affect the brain?

Consumption of energy drinks, when diluted with alcohol, give you a misconception that you haven’t drunk enough liquor; thus encouraging you to drink even more. This often results in accidents and unwanted/ unprotected sex. Energy drinks may not be as worse as alcohol if taken in moderation. But both beverages diluted together are disastrous. If you think that energy drinks enhance your memory, concentration, and alertness, then you are living in folklore. No doubt, many studies have revealed that energy drinks can improve brain functionality, but it is for the short term only. In a long run, the side effects of energy drinks on the brain are execrable and impair brain functions like seizures, panic attacks, reduced concentration, and loss of memory.

Can energy drinks damage the liver or kidney?

The side effects of energy drinks on kidneys are tragic. Caffeine, being a stimulant, increases blood flow and blood pressure, thereby putting stress on kidneys. Extreme and regular consumption of energy drinks can lead to kidney stones as well. Side effects of energy drinks on the liver are also fatal. In the year 2016, a man was diagnosed with hepatitis due to the build-up of niacin in his liver. He conceded that he was consuming 4-5 cans of energy drinks every day for three weeks. This is just a single example. Regular consumption of power drinks can damage the liver in long run, which imposes the need for liver transplant as well.

Does energy drink kill sperms?

No, energy drinks don’t kill sperms but they do affect the sperms count and their motility. More intake of caffeine (even in the form of soft drinks or coffee) can reduce the total sperm count and their ability to move.

Which energy drink is worst?

Though we highly discourage the regular consumption of energy beverages, here are few worst known power drinks. Full Throttle and Rockstar, are ranked as the worst energy drinks. Redbull and Monster are also not-so-good energy drinks because of their high sugar content, thereby giving birth to the side effects of energy drinks on the pancreas.

How much power drink is too much?

As already mentioned, you can take up to 400 mg of caffeine in a day. But everybody has different tolerance power. Your body may not be strong enough to condone 200 mg or even 100 mg caffeine. So if you are suffering from any adverse effects of caffeine on the body like insomnia, fast heartbeat, anxiety, jitters, frequent urination, and muscle tremors; then you are getting an alarm from your system that it’s high time to discontinue your energy drinks intake.

Which energy drink is healthiest and safe to drink?

Though there is no healthiest and safest energy drink to consume, you can always keep a comparatively healthier beverage in your cart. You should look at the list of nutritional facts printed on the can. A beverage with low sugar content (ideally zero), low caffeine, antioxidants, minerals, adaptogens, and real fruit concentrate are better than others. Sparkling water with natural fruit flavor or cold-pressed juice is a good and healthier beverage than power drinks. Tea Riot, Clean Cause (sparkling energy water), MatchaBar Hustle (unsweetened), Celsius Naturals, Bai Bubbles sparkling antioxidant infusion, Runa, Zevia (zero-calorie), RedBull (unsweetened) Hi ball and EBoost super fuel are some of the best sugar-free energy drinks and can be counted as healthier and safer options.

Which is the best alternative to energy drinks?

If you have finally decided to overcome the addiction to energy drinks, then give a cheer to a healthier ‘you’. There is a plentiful healthy alternative to energy drinks. You can take few cups of coffee or black tea initially to overcome the strong cravings of energy drinks. Then you gradually switch to freshly brewed green tea, ginger root tea, fresh juice, smoothies, and cold-pressed green juice. If you feel lethargic without pouring energy drink into your body, then you should start consuming enough portions of carbohydrates and proteins every day as they will help you feel energetic throughout the day. (A healthy male should consume a minimum of 3 portions of proteins and 6-8 portions of carbohydrates every day). Drink plenty of water every day. It is a free-of-cost natural energy drink.

How can I reverse the bad effects of energy drinks?

So, are you looking for ways to flush caffeine out of your system? There is no direct method to get rid of the caffeine once it enters your body. Side effects of caffeine last for few hours depending upon the amount of caffeine you consumed and the tolerance power of your body. You should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, fresh juices, and coconut water, and wait till your body naturally flushes it out. Mild physical activity and fiber-rich food will also help to quickly clean your system.

Are energy drinks with natural dietary supplements safe?

Energy drinks have been marketed as dietary supplements (like Monster Energy, Rockstar, 5- hour energy) or conventional food (like Redbull). It is not safe to consume dietary supplements unless your body demands them. Energy drinks have an immoderate percentage of vitamin B which causes hypertension (high blood pressure) or hypotension (low blood pressure). Thus energy drinks with natural dietary supplements should also be consumed carefully and in moderation as it has its own side effects on blood pressure.

Disclaimer– The information provided above is based upon various researches and case studies. It is not intended to provide any medical advice. Readers are advised to consult a medical practitioner for deep enlightenment.


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