Energy drinks are often hailed as the best option to increase your alertness. As makers of energy drinks are smart with their marketing techniques, these energy drinks have successfully established their space among youth. Today, after multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement used by American teens and young adults. But, these energy drinks can cause hazardous effects on your body because of the nature of their ingredients.
What Makes Energy Drinks Bad
The main ingredient of an energy drink is caffeine. For instance, a 24 oz energy drink may have as much as 500 mg of caffeine. This is equivalent to the amount of caffeine in four or five cups of coffee. Additionally, guarana, which contains caffeine, is added to energy drinks. Apart from caffeine, the sugar content in them is also harmful to your body. Most energy drinks contain as much as 25-50 g of simple sugars. These sugars may get absorbed fast and become part of the bloodstream easily. Another trend among youth is to mix energy drinks with alcohol. Well, this is one of the worst combinations you could ever give your body. Because of all these, an increase has been noticed in energy-drink-associated emergency room visits and death.
Effect Of Energy Drinks On Your Heart
Still not ready to ditch your favorite energy drink? Then, this research is for you. According to a research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, energy drinks trouble your body more than other caffeinated drinks. The research found that a commercially available energy drink had more impact on the heart’s electrical activity and blood pressure than a control drink with the same amount of caffeine.
For the research study, 18 people were divided into two groups. The first group consumed 32 ounces of a commercially available energy drink containing 320 mg of caffeine. The second group was given a control drink containing the same amount of caffeine. After a six-day washout period, participants were asked to switch drinks. Their heart’s electrical activities were under observation. It is found that both drinks resulted in similar increase in systolic blood pressure. However, after six hours the systolic pressures in the caffeine group had almost returned to their original readings. At the same time, the energy drinks group registered a mildly elevated blood pressure even after six hours. This shows caffeine is not the only culprit. Other ingredients in an energy drink may also have blood pressure altering effects. Another finding is that it may also raise your heartbeat.
This shows that energy drinks do not have the same effect as coffees or sodas. Those who have high blood pressure, any heart condition or other health issues should avoid these energy drinks. It could increase the risk for heart attack and stroke. The high levels of caffeine in energy drinks may also result in palpitations, dehydration, and anxiety. The excessive consumption of these drinks may contribute to sleep problems in teens. If you are a diabetic or prediabetic, these sugar-enriched drinks may work against you. If you cannot stop consuming energy drinks in one go, at least use caution when consuming them.
Next time when you feel like reaching out for your energy drink, look out for other alternatives. Coffee is a good option to get over the mid-afternoon slump. Do not worry about the caffeine content. Coffee in moderation does not cause any damage to your body. Green tea is another healthy option. With less caffeine and great health benefits, it could stimulate your mind and body. Or try healthy green juices or smoothies. Whenever you need a little boost to your energy, make sure that you make a healthy choice.