Last year, $866 million was spent to advertise energy drinks and other sugary substances to the masses. This report from Yale is not surprising, as I feel I cannot turn a single corner in the city without a Monster or Red Bull sign somewhere in my view. Anywhere you can buy a bottle of water, you will find some sort of energy drink very close by. They are not kind to your wallet either.
With some going for as expensive as $4 a can, this industry has been raking in money for years. But what about the dangers of energy drinks? What ingredients are these companies using that you should be aware of? Most important of all, what do they do to our bodies when we drink them? These are some concerns we will explore today. We hope to arm you with the facts, so you can make better decisions for your health in the future.
Whats inside: The Good and Bad
So what is so bad about drinking a Monster? Drinking one or two energy drinks is not going to kill you, but prolonged consumption of these drinks is not good for anyone’s health. Lets start off with the most obvious thing, the ridiculous amounts of sugar you intake when you drink just one can of this stuff.
Some have labels reading that they have well over 100 grams of sugar in one can. If you aren’t aware of the effects of too much sugar, here are some medical conditions that can develop. The most dangerous is heart disease, which is one of the largest killers in the US. Every year it claims 610,000 lives, meaning one in four people will get it at some point in their lives.
Sugar is in an astounding amount of foods in the US, even in very common staple foods like bread. American bread is so sweet, that foreigners often claim it tastes more like cake. Aside from the sugar, there are other ingredients in energy drinks that also make prolonged consumption a bad habit.
Next, caffeine is usually a very potent ingredient in these drinks, helping you stay alert and focused for a very short amount of time, and will usually lead to a crash that includes headaches and fatigue. Caffeine is a drug, more specifically a stimulant. This means that you will have to keep giving your body more and more caffeine to keep feeling its effects, and to stop the symptoms of withdrawl.
Caffeine will also speed up the metabolism, making you have to use the bathroom more. These may be fluids entering your body, but the sugar and caffeine will dehydrate you, which might have you drinking even more to quench your thirst. This is a bad idea because with these types of drinks you will not be able to satisfy your thirst. Switch to water and make sure to hydrate yourself after drinking energy beverages.
This ingredient is an organic compound that is naturally found in animal flesh. It plays an important role in many body processes, like anti-oxidation to keep your immune system effective.
The typical energy drink usually doses the body with 1000-2000mg of taurine. Take into account that we already get this compound in our diet through meats and fish, but that usually only accounts for a maximum of 300mg a day on average.
If you experience benefits of having more of this ingredient, then energy drinks do contain quite a bit.
Taurine supplements are usually used to treat conditions like congestive heart failure and high blood pressure. It keeps the cardiovascular system healthy and ready to repair itself. Other conditions that it can help include liver failure and high blood pressure.
While this ingredient is effective for most health adults, you should not take it if you are pregnant, as it could prove dangerous for an unborn fetus. Additionally, if you have bipolar disorder, it also has the potential to be hazardous and may exacerbate the condition.
Typically, most energy drinks contain a variation of B vitamins.
These can come in the form of niacin, folic acid, riboflavin, and cyanocobalamin. B vitamins, similar to taurine, are found in our body and help along important biological processes.
These vitamins are vital to maintaining a healthy metabolism, especially for the body’s cells to remain healthy. You can get almost all of these from a good diet of meat and vegetables, and add in a multivitamin as well. The chart below displays information about each type of B Vitamin.
The Big Secret
When it comes to energy drinks, whether they are in can or shot bottle, or even if they are energy “tablets” and pills; the real truth is that the caffeine is usually the only thing you are feeling. Companies boast about having many different ingredients that are supposed to make you awake, alert, and smarter. These claims are not backed by evidence whatsoever, and science would actually suggest they do the contrary.
Many studies show the long-term effects of these drinks is detrimental to overall health, and produce the same results as drinking a lot of high sugar substances like soda and candy. Heart disease, diabetes, and other common conditions that can result from too much sugar in the diet. The expectation of energy drinks is that they will help you have the alertness and cognitive boost to do tiring tasks like going to work each day. For a short amount of time after consumption, you will feel an improvement in cognitive functions.
The takeaway here is moderation. Energy drinks can be dangerous if you drink one each day, but if you keep them to a very occasional thing its not going to ruin your health. Always be aware of the alternatives to energy drinks: These can be things like health foods, nootropic supplements, and staying hydrated.Follow us on social media: