26 July, 2011
Energy Drinks & Numb Hands
A feeling of fatigue or lack of energy is commonplace among most adults; however, for most these lethargic sensations are caused by identifiable reasons, such as lack of sleep. While a lack of energy may not be a sign of a serious illness, it may have a detrimental effect on your productivity. Because of this, energy drinks are a common purchase for those lacking in energy. As with any nutritional supplement, energy drinks feature potential side effects, which may include numb hands. Prior to taking an energy drink, discuss the ingredients and its use with your doctor to determine its safety for you.
The exact ingredients of energy drinks differ according to the manufacturer and product, yet most energy drinks contain similar ingredients. The primary compound found in most products is caffeine; again, the concentration of caffeine will vary according to the product. The average energy drink contains between 80 to 140 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. serving; however, many energy drinks contain at least 16 oz. of liquid. Guarana is also commonly found in most energy drinks, and it features a high concentration of caffeine and other compounds known for their stimulating effects on the central nervous system. Other stimulating or performance-enhancing herbs include taurine, ginseng, green tea extract and yerba mate.
Cause of Numb Hands
The University of Missouri Wellness Resource Center suggests numb hands due to energy drink consumption may be an adverse reaction to the stimulants found in these beverages. Caffeine, which is a primary ingredient in the majority of energy drinks, provides a boost of energy by stimulating the central nervous system. If consumed in large quantities, caffeine may cause the nervous system to become unstable, resulting numbness or tingling sensations within the hands. Drugs.com reports if you experience a numb or tingling sensation within your hands, seek immediate medical attention, as this is a rare yet serious side effect of caffeine or stimulant ingestion.
Other Side Effects
Side effects associated with energy drinks vary according to the specific ingredients found in the product. Some of the more common side effects are associated with caffeine and other stimulants. These include dizziness, nausea, nervousness, rapid heartbeat and irritability; however, more serious side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, trembling and tightness in the chest.
If you are currently taking any medications or undergoing medical treatments, discuss the use of energy drinks with your doctor as the ingredients within the beverage may cause adverse side effects. Pregnant and lactating women should not consume energy drinks.
- Bloomberg; Energy Drink Ingredients Provide No Health Benefit and Make Children Sick; Nicole Ostrow; February 2011
- Drugs.com; Caffeine Side Effects; July 2011
- Guayaki – “Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety”; Energy Drinks: An Assessment of Their Market Size, Consumer Demographic, Ingredient Profile, Functionality, and Regulations in the United States; M.A. Heckman, et al.; 2009
- allanswart/iStock/Getty Images