What are Energy Drinks (ED)?
Energy drink is a type of drink that contains stimulants like caffeine (A substance that raises levels of psychological or nervous activity of the brain). These are categorized as beverage products, which exceed 145 mg of caffeine per liter. They may or may not be carbonated (containing dissolved carbon dioxide to have the effervescence effect) and contain sugar or other sweeteners, herbal extracts, taurine, or other amino acids.
The energy drinks in the Indian market is composed of five different ingredients which include vitamin, sugar, caffeine, Taurine ( amino acid for energy ), and Guarana ( derived from a plant that contains 4 times the amount of caffeine than coffee )
The other ingredients present in energy drinks are ginseng, yerba mate, water, green tea extracts, ginkgo Biloba, green coffee extract, carnitine, sodium, potassium, magnesium, inositol, ( all added to boost energy levels and mental focus) in addition to flavors, and preservative benzoic acid.
The products are marketed as non-alcoholic beverages, which are consumed to boost energy.
Abhijit Naskar, one of the world’s celebrated Neuroscientists, an International Bestselling Author of numerous books and a popular advocate of mental health and global harmony stated :
“Energy drinks may give you wings for the moment, but in time it takes away your basic physical and mental wellness and leads to disastrous psychiatric and physiological conditions.”
Next to multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by American teens and young adults.
Men between the ages of 18 and 34 years consume the most energy drinks, and almost one-third of teens between 12 and 17 years drink them regularly.
The energy drinks market in India is still small – barely Rs 700 crore, or five percent of the total soft drinks market, which is dominated by colas, fruit juices, and flavored milk.
Let us understand why Energy Drinks are bad for health
Energy drinks are beverages intended to increase alertness, concentration, attention, and energy.
Excessive or regular consumption of energy drinks can lead to heart arrhythmias, headaches, high blood pressure, and anxiety.
- Energy drinks are bad for heart because of their Caffeine content
Caffeine is the main ingredient found in energy drinks thanks to its ability to increase alertness. When consumed in large quantities of more than 400 milligrams per day, caffeine can cause:
Increased blood pressure
Increased heart rate
Heart rhythm disturbances
Caffeine use may also be associated with anxiety, sleep problems, digestive problems, dehydration, and addiction.
Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it can make you pee more.
Guarana, commonly included in energy drinks, contains caffeine. Therefore, the addition of guarana increases the drink’s total caffeine content.
Most energy drinks contain between 70 and 240mg of caffeine per serving, while a cup of coffee contains about 100mg of caffeine. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the safe limit of caffeine for adults is up to 400mg per day.
The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the consumption of caffeine in children under the age of 12 and recommends those 12 to 18 consume 100 mg or less a day.
2. Energy drinks are loaded with sugar
Most energy drinks pack about 27 to 31 grams of sugar per eight ounces. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of sugar, or six teaspoons per day for women, and 36 grams of sugar, or nine teaspoons, a day for men.
Consumption of added sugars can also increase the risk of obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Energy drinks should not be mixed with alcohol
Energy drinks are often mixed with alcohol, especially among young adults.
When combined with alcohol, energy drinks can alter the intoxication levels, making one feel less intoxicated and energized while still experiencing signs of alcohol impairment, like slurred speech, poor coordination, and memory impairment.
The combination also increases the risks of binge drinking (Consuming 5 or more drinks) because the stimulating effects of energy drinks can mask the depressive effects of alcohol, causing one to drink more.
Binge drinking is associated with several health problems including:
Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease
Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon
Memory and learning problems
Alcohol use disorders
- Energy drinks are harmful for teens
Energy drinks are especially harmful to adolescents who are still growing and developing.
Energy drinks increase the risk of several health conditions for teens and young adults, including:
Cardiovascular nervous system anomalies
Increased risk of depression and other mental health illnesses
Are energy drinks okay in moderation?
Energy drinks are unhealthy in nature. They can be safe if consumed in moderation by people without underlying health conditions.
Energy and concentration can be increased with healthier alternatives, like:
1. Eating a snack with protein and carbohydrates, like an apple and cheese. The combination of protein and carbs can increase energy and help one focus.
2. Grabbing a piece of dark chocolate, which contains antioxidants, flavonoids, and a moderate concentration of caffeine that can boost brain function.
3. Sleeping seven to eight hours a night.
4. Exercising regularly.
Corporate and Pharmaceutical Trainer
For awareness purposes only.
For treatment please consult your healthcare provider.
Published as per views and material provided by the author (guest blogger).