Many people have moved from drinking coffee to something stronger to get them through their day. With this change, a new group of drinks has emerged over the last 10 years to feed people’s need for an increase in energy level throughout the day. Big name brands have increased market shares with claims of increased energy and focus, but what are the energy drink dangers of consuming these beverages on a daily basis?
Although many of these energy drinks come with limited amounts of caffeine, they are packed with other ingredients that can still have some harmful side effects. The caffeine in these energy drinks is vastly dependent upon the size of the serving. Many of these companies have varied sizes with some reaching 3-4 servings per can. When consuming these beverages on a daily basis, the effect on your general health can range from moderate to severe, based on how many of these beverages you consume. What are these dangers?
Blood Pressure Issues
Energy drinks may affect those who may already have blood pressure issues. With many of these products having a significant amount of caffeine in them and varied sizes, the dangers of increased risk of hypertension exists. In studies, one energy drink has shown an increase of 6.4% in blood pressure on average. For those who already high blood pressure this can significant effect to their health. (1)
To make these drinks more palatable to the general public, many of these companies add vast amount of sugar for flavoring.
Monster Energy: 54 grams in 16 ounces (2)
Red Bull Regular and Flavors: 27 grams in 8.46 ounces (2)
Rock Star Energy Drink: 60 grams in 16 ounces (2)
Amp Energy: 58 grams in 16 ounces (2)
When consumed through the day these high levels of sugar increase the risk of type II diabetes. This danger exists from the constant need for the body to generate insulin to metabolize the sugar brought into the body. This increased need for the pancreas to produce insulin can cause the insulin-producing cells to wear out, and can eventually they could decrease the ability to produce the correct amount of insulin. (3)
Much like alcohol, the reactions that certain medications have with different ingredients is not always known. This is also true for how different medications and coupled with the ingestion of these types of drinks can effect individuals. Depending on your personal reaction from medications and energy drinks, this could increase the risks associated with both. (4)
Energy drinks are usually loaded with caffeine. After daily intake the reduction of these drinks can cause withdrawal from caffeine. For some people, the addiction is so severe, that they have extreme withdrawal when these caffeine based drinks are removed. This includes, insomnia, restlessness, and in some cases, stomach discomfort. (5)
There are several ingredients in energy drinks that can affect the adenosine receptors of the body. These receptors give the body the ability to mediate the effects of caffeine. They are also thought to control the effects that anxiety has on the body. When these receptors are compromised by the increased levels of caffeine introduced into the body, the receptors are unable to correctly reduce anxiety levels. When the systems of the body can not use the receptors properly, the anxiety the body feels will increase. (6)
Caffeine has been shown to cause headaches in some people. This is partially due to the dehydrating effects it has and partially due to the way it impacts blood pressure. When people choose to reduce or eliminate caffeine from their diet, it can produce severe headaches as well as migraines after missed amounts. These are some of the effects that withdrawal has on the body. If you choose to reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet after long periods of increased use, do so gradually to avoid these headaches. (7)
Caffeine and energy drinks have a permanent place in many of our lives. Whether we use it for energy or focus, many people need it to keep up with their chaotic days. It is crucial to know and understand what these drinks can do to your body and overall health and chose healthier alternatives like a nootropic supplement for focus and mental energy.