Post Name: What Are The Side Effects Of Energy Drinks
Warning! Those Energy Drinks You Are Drinking Aren’t Good For You!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and this post will contain information that I have gathered through extensive research as well as my personal experience with energy drinks.
Side Effects of Energy Drinks
How many times has someone told you “those energy drinks are bad for you”?
If you are anything like me, it was probably in one ear and out the other.
But you are here, reading my post on the side effects of energy drinks?
Perhaps you are actually starting to believe all the bad things you have heard or maybe, just maybe, you have experienced some side effects of energy drinks yourself and wanted to verify if that Monster or Red Bull you love so much could really be the cause.
I am not here to get you to stop drinking energy drinks or tell you which one to drink.
All I wanted to accomplish with this post was to inform you of the dangers of energy drinks that many others have reported.
… and give you some facts about energy drinks so that you can make the best decision for you if that small boost of energy is really worth it.
Sweet, well then let’s get to it shall we.
Energy Drink Side Effects
Energy drinks have been around since the late 1990’s but have really exploded over the last few years.
In fact, from 2008 to 2012, the energy drink sector rose 60% and had a total of $12.5 billion in U.S. sales in 2012.
Experts predict that sales will continue to rise and some even predict sales of $21 billion by 2017. (source: Food Product Design)
With numbers like these its no wonder that everyone and their brother is getting in the already over saturated energy drink market.
Heck Duck Dynasty has an energy drink and I even saw one called Cocaine.
The market is still dominated by the big two: Red Bull and Monster Energy Drink which combined share over 70% of the market, who have been aggressive in their marketing campaigns at teenage and college aged (18-34 years old) males.
Side Effects of Energy Drinks
Just take a trip to the leading energy drink websites and all you see in fast cars, extreme sports and hot women, did I mention the hot women, wowza!!!
Oh yeah, all of the things that would typically appeal to young males.
Makes it look like drinking these energy drinks is cool and macho, very similar to marketing campaigns we use to see from the top cigarette companies, scary!
But don’t think that men are the only ones consuming energy drinks, oh no, while men account for two-thirds of energy drink related emergency room visits, women account for the other third.
Speaking of energy drink related emergency room visits, last year alone both men and women’s visits doubled from (7,000 to 15,000 for men and from 3,000 to 6,000 for women). (source: Medical News Today)
That is a lot of people going to the emergency room, but the message being released from the big energy drink companies has always been “our products are and have always been safe”.
Something is not adding up.
For me it’s not making a lot of sense, maybe you get it, but I’m lost, how can energy drinks be safe if 58% of energy drink related emergency room visits last year were from patients who just drank energy drinks, maybe they were just allergic, joke.
The other 42% were from patients who had mixed alcohol and/ or other drugs with their energy drinks.
To me, over 20,000 energy drink related emergency room visits just in the United States seems like a lot, but then again drinking energy drinks too fast have been known to cause your heart rate to speed up, if my heart felt like it was racing I would probably head to the ER myself.
I am sure most of the visits were just false alarms and the patients were told of the negative side effects of energy drinks and sent home, with a pretty hefty bill I’m sure.
There have been a few deaths related to energy drinks, but I am sure that these were is extremely rare cases where the victim had a preexisting condition that was magnified by energy drink consumption, but again this is rare and I guess there have been deaths from just about every type of food or drink at some point.
So you know the most extreme energy drink side effects, trips to the ER or in rare cases death, but what are the more common side effects that are much more frequent and could happen to you?
Side Effects of Energy Drinks
Energy drinks have the potential to be really dangerous to most consumers because most people simply do not know what the hi-tech sounding ingredients are.
We know caffeine, green tea, ginseng and of course sugar but what the heck is taurine and guarana?
Taurine is an amino acid supplement that is often found is sea food, fish and meat, some studies have shown that when combined with caffeine, taurine has been shown to improve mental perfomance.
Taurine supplementation has also been linked to improved athletic performance.
Guarana has been used for years to aid in weight loss, enhance mental performance and reduce mental and physical fatigue but most often guarana is used as a stimulant.
Both do not sound that bad but it is not the additives in energy drinks that are scary and cause energy drink side effects, it is the excessive amounts of sugar and caffeine that will get you.
We know that too much sugar is definitely not good for you, but people who are experiencing energy drink side effects are doing so because of excessive caffeine intake.
A typical adult should consume no more than 200-300 milligrams of caffeine a day, here are some statistics about the most popular caffeine drinks:
So what are the most common side effects of energy drinks:
Recent research in Australia has highlighted the risks with over-consumption of energy drinks. This data was gathered from 7 years of calls to the Australian Poisons Center (Listed in order of most common to least).
- Palpitations / tachycardia
- Tremor / shaking
- Agitation / restlessness
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Chest pain / ischaemia
- Dizziness / syncope
- Paraesthesia (tingling or numbing of the skin)
- Respiratory distress
- Headache250 milligrams per day of caffeine should be the limit. If you figure a 16 oz. Cup of Starbucks Coffee has up to 300 mg. – and a 1 oz. Shot of espresso has about 75 mg; many Americans exceed this limit every day. Drinking more than 400 milligrams a day — two cups of coffee and an energy drink — can lead to jitteriness, nausea, or even heart palpitations.
According to the Mayo Clinc, based on recent studies on this subject conducted in January, 2012; It is recommended that:
Caffeine not be given to those under the age of 12 years
No more than 100-200 mg be ingested per 3 or 4 hour period
It not be used as a remedy for sleepiness
Use be discontinued if an irregular heartbeat is experienced (source: Quantum Energy Mint)
So now that you know that there is some pretty serious side effects to drinking energy drinks and consuming to much caffeine, are you going to continue chugging down those Monster’s and Red Bull’s every day?
If so, that your choice, but you should really try to keep your caffeine intake down to 200 – 300 milligrams per day max to avoid suffering from some of the side effects listed above.
Sometime you need a boost, I get it, but the absolute best way to get a ton of long lasting energy that will get you through the day is with a good nights rest, exercise and a healthy diet.
I personally use to knock out 2 Monster’s a day, got fat, had headaches and knew there had to be a better and safer way to get the energy I needed to get through the day, I found the solution I was looking for when I made the changes I needed to make in my diet and increased my exercise routine.
The energy came as a great side effect of just doing what I needed to do and I know you can too if you give it a shot.
Energy drink side effects are just not worth it, there are many alternatives on the market which give you the boost you are looking for without all the crashing and negative side effects.