Is Drinking Energy Drinks Bad For You?

Published 6/10/13

What are Energy Drinks?

Energy drinks are beverages that contain large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants, legal ones of course, such as guarana, ginseng, and B Vitamins that when combined provide an energy boost. Energy drinks rely mainly on caffeine to provide energy, with the amount of caffeine ranging anywhere from 75-200 milligrams per serving.  If an energy drink claims to have no caffeine, then the energy comes from guarana, which is said to be almost equivalent to caffeine in terms of stimulation. Some of the most popular energy drinks are Red Bull, Rockstar, and Monster.

We All React to Caffeine Differently

Just like no two people are the same, no two react to caffeine the same exact way and should be treated carefully. The stimulating property of energy drinks, mainly from caffeine, can produce increased heart rate and blood pressure, dehydration of the body, and sleep disruption. Some people cannot consume caffeine without bouncing off the wall after while others can consume a large dose of caffeine and not be affected by it in the slightest. It is important to be aware of how your body handles caffeine and consume the stimulant accordingly.

Energy Drinks are Not FDA Regulated

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the amount of caffeine in energy drinks. This is a result of energy drinks being sold as dietary supplements instead of as beverages. The FDA limit for caffeine content in sodas is 65 milligrams of caffeine per twelve ounces and most energy drinks contain much more than 65 mg per twelve ounces. Most energy drinks fall in the 120 mg range per twelve ounces. Caffeine in moderation is fairly benign, but with heavy consumption comes anxiety, panic, stomach problems, and some cardiac arrhythmias such as elevated heart rate or irregular heart rhythm.

Mixing Alcohol with Energy Drinks

CAUTION! The combination of energy drinks, a stimulant, with alcohol, a depressant, is dangerous and can be fatal. The stimulating effect of energy drinks prevents your body from becoming aware of how intoxicated you are because the feeling of fatigue is one of the ways your body communicates to you how drunk you are. With this effect in place, people will think they are more sober than they truly are and will continue drinking or can even misperceive their ability to perform complex tasks like driving or crossing a busy road. Resulting with them putting themselves and those around them in danger.  On top of this, energy drinks and alcohol are both extremely dehydrating and limits your body’s natural ability to metabolize alcohol resulting in an increased level of toxicity. This will also produce a much more intense hangover.  

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