HEALTH CENTER

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The Dangers of Energy Drinks by Alyssa Sota

With today’s fast-paced world, the average person does not receive an adequate amount of sleep or nutrients, all of which nourishes the body; as an outcome, many are left feeling tired and rundown. In order to gain vitality, the proper solution would be to go to bed earlier and eat more fruits and vegetables, but in reality many succumb to a more convenient alternative in the form of an aluminum can.

When feeling tired, many turn to energy drinks to help get through the day.  These drinks are marketed to provide a quick burst of energy.  What the companies of these products do not promote are the harmful effects to the physical, mental, and emotional health to the consumer.

Side effects include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dehydration
  • A decrease in bone mass
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Jitters/ shakes
  • Kidney damage
  • Seizures
  • Strokes
  • Disrupted sleep

 
Common ingredients found in most energy drinks are: caffeine, sugar, guarana, and taurine. Individually, these additives may not be harmful, but when combined with high doses of caffeine, serious complications may occur.

Ingredients breakdown:

  • Caffeine – A chemical compound that stimulates the central nervous system. This is what causes rapid heart rate and kidney damage.  The amounts of caffeine added to energy drinks are not regulated by the FDA, and often, the amounts listed are inaccurate.
  • Sugar – A sweet crystalline substance obtained from various plants.  It is known to give an instant boost, but in time causes the body to crash in both energy and alertness.
  • Guarana – A South American plant that is reputed to stimulate mental alertness, fight fatigue, and increase stamina. It produces seeds with approximately five percent caffeine content, while a coffee bean has the caffeine count of up to two percent.
  • Ginseng – An extract made from the root of the ginseng plant. Ginseng may increase brainpower, but is not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
  • Taurine – An amino acid. Most energy drinks contain anywhere from 20 mg – 2,000 mg of taurine. When consuming an energy drink, taurine is dumped into the bloodstream and cannot pass through the membranes that protect the brain.

 
Be aware next time you think about picking up an energy drink. It may indeed provide a quick energy boost, but potential risks to your health may ensue.

Sources:

http://tellmed.org/patient-information/local-health-concerns-1/just-how-bad-are-energy-drinks

http://www.naturalnews.com/033794_energy_drinks_side_effects.html

http://www.caffeineinformer.com/energy-drink-ingredients

http://www.caffeineinformer.com/top-10-energy-drink-dangers

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.