Do you depend on energy drinks for that burst of energy? It has been found that drinking a single can of energy drink can increase your chances of getting a heart stroke or a heart attack. Popping a can of energy drink or mixing energy drinks with cocktails has been quite a common practice among the youth today. Read on to know more about the detrimental effects this habit can have on your health.
Consumption Of Energy Drinks Is On The Rise
It was forecasted that the annual energy drink sales in the U.S. are expected to exceed $21 billion by the end of 2017. More than 29 billion gallons of energy drink liquid is consumed by Americans every year.
This is an alarming trend considering the ingredients that are used to make these drinks. A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) revealed that the number of emergency department visits involving energy drinks doubled between 2007 and 2011, from 10,068 visits to 20,783.1
Why Energy Drinks Are Harmful
The primary ingredients in energy drinks are caffeine and sugar. Sugar is found in the form of glucuronolactone, glucose, and sucrose. Apart from caffeine and sugar, energy drinks contain artificial energy-boosting ingredients that include two artificial sweeteners. These ingredients can be damaging to your body in many ways.2
- In addition to containing vitamins and other additives, these flavored beverages may contain up to 5 times more caffeine than a typical cup of coffee.
- High amounts of caffeine can cause health problems such as insomnia, irregular or racing heartbeat, and increased blood pressure and blood sugar.
- Some of the resulting health problems can be serious enough to require emergency care.
- In 2011, about 1 in 10 energy drink-related ED visits among patients 12 years of age or older resulted in hospitalization.
- Aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in energy drinks, has been known to have numerous side effects.
Energy Drinks Are Not Good For Your Heart
Research Warns Against Energy Drinks
A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association tested the effects of a commercial energy drink on 18 young, healthy volunteers. The study found that drinking 32 ounces of a commercially available energy drink resulted in more profound changes in the heart’s electrical activity and blood pressure than drinking 32 ounces of a control drink with the same amount of caffeine.3 While larger clinical trials and evaluation of noncaffeine ingredients is recommended, the study proves that effect of energy drinks on your body is significant.
Energy Drinks Increase Alcohol Dependence
There is also an increasing trend among young adults of mixing drinking energy drinks along with alcohol. These drinks are often sold as cocktails called Vodka Bulls, Red Bombs, and Jager Bombs. When you mix energy drinks and alcohol, you are actually mixing a stimulant and a depressant together which can have adverse effects on your health. And researchers have found that weekly or daily energy drink consumption is strongly associated with alcohol dependence. 4
How Energy Drinks Can Affect Your Health
Excess consumption of energy drinks has proved to cause other health problems too.
1. POTS (Postural Tachycardia Syndrome): Consumption of energy drinks has proved to lead to POTS.5 POTS is associated with fall in blood pressure, nausea, excessive sweating, fainting, etc. This condition can also lead to chronic fatigue syndrome, which is why people suffering from fatigue, stress, and anxiety should not consume energy drinks.
2. Orthostatic intolerance: It is a condition in which changing your posture from a sleeping position to an upright position results in an abnormal increase in the heart rate. Increased use of energy drinks has proved to raise the risk of orthostatic intolerance.6
Who Should Avoid Energy Drinks?
Energy drinks must not be consumed by people who are vulnerable to health disorders. People with cardiovascular diseases and chronic conditions must also avoid them completely.7 Look at the list below to find out who all should avoid drinking energy drinks.
- Pregnant women
- Lactating mothers
- People with a high risk of heart diseases
- People sensitive to caffeine
- People with high blood pressure
- People with stress and anxiety issues
- People with chronic fatigue
- People with blood clotting disorder
Though energy drinks claim to boost your performance, these drinks can be very taxing on your body. So, give it a thought and see if you can avoid or limit drinking them.
|↑1||1 in 10 Energy Drink-Related Emergency Department Visits Results in Hospitalization. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2014.|
|↑2||1 in 10 Energy Drink-Related Emergency Department Visits Results in Hospitalization. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2014.|
|↑3||Fletcher, Emily A., Carolyn S. Lacey, Melenie Aaron, Mark Kolasa, Andrew Occiano, and Sachin A. Shah. “Randomized Controlled Trial of High‐Volume Energy Drink Versus Caffeine Consumption on ECG and Hemodynamic Parameters.” Journal of the American Heart Association 6, no. 5 (2017): e004448.|
|↑4||Arria, Amelia M., Kimberly M. Caldeira, Sarah J. Kasperski, Kathryn B. Vincent, Roland R. Griffiths, and Kevin E. O’Grady. “Energy drink consumption and increased risk for alcohol dependence.” Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 35, no. 2 (2011): 365-375.|
|↑5, ↑6||Terlizzi, Rossana, Camilla Rocchi, Maria Serra, Laura Solieri, and Pietro Cortelli. “Reversible postural tachycardia syndrome due to inadvertent overuse of Red Bull®.” Clinical Autonomic Research 18, no. 4 (2008): 221-223.|
|↑7||Higgins, John P., Troy D. Tuttle, and Christopher L. Higgins. “Energy beverages: content and safety.” In Mayo Clinic Proceedings, vol. 85, no. 11, pp. 1033-1041. Elsevier, 2010.|