Over the last decade, the popularity of energy drinks has increased remarkably among teens and adults. With flashy marketing and promises of better performance, it’s no surprise that the usage of energy drinks is growing at a rapid pace. However, what most people don’t realize is that excessive use of energy drinks can cause many health problems, particularly among individuals who regularly take medications using medication management app. The biggest reason behind energy drinks’ potential health risks is their main ingredient caffeine which acts as a stimulant. After going into the body, caffeine causes neurotransmitters like adrenaline to release which is responsible for increasing your heart rate and blood pressure.
Read on to learn more about the effects of caffeine and energy drinks as a whole on our bodies.
Hidden Caffeine in Energy Drinks
The amount of caffeine in energy drinks varies from brand to brand. Since the energy drink industry is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, companies are not bound to use a specific amount of caffeine. In fact, some brands don’t even mention that their product contains caffeine.
Also, some energy drink manufacturers claim that their beverages are “natural dietary supplements,” thus FDA regulations do not apply to their products. This means that customers won’t know how much caffeine they’re ingesting with an energy drink, and it’s likely to be a lot more than you expect.
However, a typical energy drink contains about 5 times more caffeine than a cup of coffee. The recommendation from health experts is that a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine should be consumed per day; an amount which is contained by a single energy drink can. Some energy drinks also contain guarana which is around 80 times stronger than caffeine. Due to these ingredients, you may end up consuming much more caffeine than mentioned on the packaging.
Caffeine’s Effect on Human Body
As mentioned above, caffeine is a stimulant which causes the release of adrenaline and affects your central nervous system, increasing heart rate and blood pressure. In small doses, caffeine is usually harmless but the amount in a typical energy drink can be dangerous for health, particularly in those with heart issues or high blood pressure.
Once you have developed a caffeine habit, breaking it can be very difficult and sometimes may even result in the following side effects:
- Increased heart rate
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure
- Marked fatigue
Energy drinks also contain other energy enhancing ingredients, such as taurine, ginseng, vitamin B, etc. but unfortunately, the safety and effects of these additives aren’t well known so nothing can be said with 100% accuracy about how their daily consumption affects the human body.
Energy drinks can also contribute to digestive problems, disrupt sleep patterns, and may even lead to death if drank wildly.
Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks
Combining energy drinks with alcohol can be very dangerous as well. And the worst part is that this is already happening on a large scale by teens and patients taking medications using medicine taking app. Although individuals aged under 21 aren’t allowed to buy drinks, they can still get them through friends and create their own cocktails by mixing energy drinks with alcohol.
These drinks give teenagers the feeling that they are less drunk than they really are. And when teens feel less drunk, they tend to drink more alcohol which can often result in hospitalization.
Mixing energy drinks with alcohol also increases the likelihood of getting involved in risky behavior such as drunk driving and binge drinking. According to a 2015 study, people who combined these two beverages were four times more confident that could drive home safely than those who drank alcohol alone. Similarly, a 2014 study found that teens who mixed alcohol and energy drinks were more likely to binge drink than those who drank alcohol alone.
Ingredients Used in Energy Drinks
Energy drinks typically contain high levels of caffeine. Apart from caffeine, they contain sugar and other energy boosting ingredients such as ginseng, guarana, vitamin B, carnitine and taurine.
Who’s at Risk?
Women who are pregnant or plan to get pregnant should avoid these drinks. This is because when caffeine is taken during pregnancy, it can interfere with fetus’ brain development and cause lasting damage to it.
Children could also be at risk due to their small size and lower safety threshold for caffeine and other ingredients of energy drinks. Therefore, they are strictly advised to stay away from energy drinks as their cardiovascular and nervous systems are still-developing and taking caffeine could harm them. Thus, experts advise children to never ingest energy drinks.
So, Are Energy Drinks Bad for You?
According to healthcare specialists, caffeine and other ingredients in energy drinks have no place in the diet of children, teens, and pregnant women.
The same precautions are applicable to adults and patients of all ages. If you are an adult looking for a caffeine boost or a patient who takes medications using free medication reminder app, be cautious when consuming energy drinks as the interactions can be dangerous.
If you’re trying to break your caffeine habit, gradually reduce your caffeine intake on a weekly basis to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Also, remember that excessive amounts of caffeine or combining energy drinks with alcohol can worsen the condition of those with heart problems. If consuming caffeine is necessary, try taking tea or black coffee instead of energy drinks, and make sure you don’t take more than 400 milligrams per day to avoid its negative effects.