By now, you’ve probably heard all about electrolytes. They’re exactly why sports drinks are so popular! You can even take electrolyte stamina pills for an easier option. But is it safe?
Electrolytes are crucial for hydration, along with nerve and muscle function. Yet, like all good things, too much can cause harm. Taking stamina pills can instantly raise your levels and cause serious side effects.
What Are Stamina Pills?
Stamina pills are designed to perk you up. Often, they contain taurine and vitamin B6 to give you energy. Electrolytes are also added to reduce muscle cramps and support hydration. These include trace minerals like sodium, calcium, chloride, potassium, and magnesium.
You lose electrolytes whenever you sweat. This throws your fluid levels off balance, leading to symptoms
such as weakness and muscle spasms.1. Stamina pills are meant to prevent this by bringing your electrolytes back to normal.
These pills are attractive to athletes who want to enhance their sports performance. If they aren’t used responsibly, it can lead to these five side effects.
5 Side Effects Of Stamina Tablets
Stamina pills can overload your body with potassium. This can lead to hyperkalemia or high potassium blood levels.
Possible symptoms include nausea, numbness, irritability, muscle weakness, stomach cramping, and diarrhea. Potassium also controls your heart muscle, so high levels may lead to a slow heart rate or fainting.
Hyperkalemia doesn’t always have symptoms, though. Continuously taking electrolyte stamina pills will just make it worse.
You have a greater risk for hyperkalemia if you’re on a medication that changes your potassium levels. Blood pressure lowering drugs are the perfect example. You’re also at risk if you have diabetes, alcoholism, or existing muscle injuries.2 These conditions are already linked to high potassium levels.
Another side effect of stamina pills is hypercalcemia or high blood calcium levels. This mineral is needed for proper nerve function and muscle contraction. It’s also necessary for healthy bones, teeth, and blood clotting.3
Like hyperkalemia, hypercalcemia might not cause symptoms. If it does, you may notice bone pain, fatigue, confusion, nausea, and muscle twitches. The stress on the kidneys will also lead to increased thirst or urination.
If you have an overactive thyroid gland, you’re already at risk for high calcium levels. Taking calcium supplements along with stamina pills is also bad news.4
Sodium is needed to keep your fluid balance in check. It also helps muscles and nerves work properly. However, taking stamina pills may lead to high blood sodium levels or hypernatremia.
Side effects usually don’t show up until your blood levels are very high. Symptoms range from nausea and vomiting to muscle weakness and seizures.
Granted, hypernatremia from increased sodium intake is rare. It’s more common if your fluid levels are low. With that said, never take stamina pills when you’re dehydrated. Combining both factors will increase your chances of hypernatremia.5
Your body can excrete excess magnesium. If you take too many stamina pills, magnesium toxicity can develop.
Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, facial flushing, hypotension, and difficulty in breathing. In extreme cases, irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrest can crop up.
The risk increases if you’re taking laxatives and antacids with magnesium.6 It also doesn’t help that these pills will lower your fluid balance, increasing your magnesium levels even more. Stamina pills will just make it worse.
5. Kidney Damage
Stamina pills are stressful for your kidneys. They’ll work harder to handle high levels of electrolytes, making them more vulnerable to damage.
Other ingredients – like taurine and vitamin B6 – can also be dangerous. Taurine is an essential amino acid, but will harm metabolism and nitrogen balance at high levels.7 Too much vitamin B6, which is needed for protein metabolism, can cause numbness and nerve problems.8
Stamina pills do contain things that your body needs. Yet, they increase your risk for toxicity. Play it safe by boosting your stamina through natural ways, such as healthy eating and good sleeping habits.
|↑1, ↑3||Electrolyte Imbalance. UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center.|
|↑2||Hyperkalemia (High Potassium). American Heart Association.|
|↑5||Braun, Michael M., CRAIG H. Barstow, and NATASHA J. Pyzocha. “Diagnosis and management of sodium disorders: hyponatremia and hypernatremia.” Am. Fam. Physician 91 (2015): 299-307.|
|↑6||Magnesium. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑7||Taurine. University of Utah.|
|↑8||Vitamin B6. Oregon State University.|