18 July, 2011
The Disadvantages of Drinking Energy Drinks
Energy drinks are marketed with the claim that they will boost your energy. Different energy drinks contain different ingredients and these are the primary disadvantage of these beverages. While certain brands of energy drinks may in fact provide you with a boost of energy, knowing the drawbacks and dangers of these beverages may have you seeking out an alternative way to energize yourself.
The majority of energy drinks contain sugar, which is one of the most popular ingredients used to boost your energy. These energy drinks may provide a short burst of energy, but it does not last very long. Regularly consuming energy drinks may cause you to drink an unhealthy amount of sugar as well. "The New York Times" adds that children can purchase certain brands of energy drinks, which may cause them to consume unhealthy amounts of sugar also. Consuming too much sugar can lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Another popular ingredient in energy drinks is caffeine because it can give you a burst of energy. John Hopkins Medicine reports that energy drinks can contain a staggering amount of caffeine, some with as much as 14 cans of soda. The caffeine content is not always listed on the ingredient label so you may end up consuming far more than you thought. Too much caffeine on a regular basis can cause irritability, nervousness, difficulty sleeping, increased blood pressure and rapid heartbeat, MedlinePlus.com notes.
Certain energy drinks contain alcohol, and all energy drinks can be combined with alcohol. If you consume an energy drink during the workday, drinking one with alcohol can decrease your productivity and may pose more serious dangers if you drive or work with tools and machinery. A review in the March 2011 issue of "Australian Family Physician" notes that drinking energy drinks with alcohol may slow down the feeling of intoxication, which can lead to heavier drinking and may increase your risk of alcohol-related injuries. Energy drinks with alcohol are a particular concern for children who may be able to purchase them even if they are under age, "The New York Times" reports.
Many brands of energy drinks include vitamins and herbs that are believed to help increase your energy level. Most of these are regulated and are considered safe for human consumption. The problem, notes Dr. Manny Alvarez, a medical correspondent with Fox News, is that the effects of mixing herbs and vitamins with caffeine is unknown. The Food and Drug Administration does not require caffeine content to be listed on the labels, so you may be consuming more than is considered safe with the other ingredients.
- MedlinePlus.com: Caffeine in the Diet
- The New York Times: Scientists See Dangers in Energy Drinks
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: Caffeine Experts at Johns Hopkins Call for Warning Labels for Energy Drinks
- Fox News: Energy Drinks: Unregulated and Out of Control?
- Austrailian Family Physician: Combining Energy Drinks and Alcohol -- A Recipe For Trouble
- Mauro Matacchione/iStock/Getty Images