For people who lead busy lifestyles, energy drinks are a quick fix; an accessible solution resorted to for relieving body aches and impediments that prevent them from functioning as needed for their jobs and tasks. With the FDA not regulating these products, it is easy for more and more manufacturers to take advantage of the increasing demand to fill our consumer markets with these products, coming out with new labels or improved versions of the old ones. To the average customer, it is accepted that if an item is widely made available on store shelves, it must mean that product consumption is always safe. A naïve opinion such as this has been causing serious medical problems among people in our society, sadly, even causing deaths in many unwary consumers, both young and old.
Since energy drinks are loaded with sugars, dependency, especially on a daily basis poses serious health risks. Diabetics should consume these products in moderation. There is an increased risk for those with a family history of Diabetes Type II. Check the labels and you’re guaranteed to see at least one in every product: corn syrup, cane sugar, glucose, artificial sweeteners, and etc. Those currently (or formerly) battling obesity should avoid daily and heavily consuming energy drinks since highly sugared products cause and worsen obesity. It’s also to be noted that sugar is one energizer that will cost you afterwards. The energy boost comes due to the increase in sugar and insulin levels but when this temporary boost wears off, the body starts to crash.
Caffeine is a stimulant that energizes the central nervous system. All energy drinks will have them, whether disclosed or not. While a cup of brewed coffee vary from 70 to 140 milligrams of caffeine content, energy drinks deemed effective and patronized by customers contain 80 to 240 milligrams of caffeine per cup. A study on caffeine safety was conducted and published, declaring 400 milligrams of caffeine to be the safety limit.
While study shows that caffeine is not a clear cause of cardiovascular diseases, it increases health risks for those with pre-existing heart conditions. High amounts of caffeine also cause insomnia and body tremors, restlessness and anxiety. In many cases, a prolonged and heavy dependence on caffeine caused and worsened headaches, migraines, and sleep deprivation. Elevated and erratic blood pressure levels, seizures, and heart palpitations were also observed in some others. In light of these negative side effects, consumers would do well to pay attention to the caffeine content of their favorite energy drink and adjust their consumption accordingly.
Though energy drinks are on-shelf products, they are not to be treated just like juices and sodas which can be taken together with medications. Energy drinks contain various ingredients and drug Interaction is a concern. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) is a United States public health surveillance system. DAWN monitors all drug-related Emergency Room visits in hospitals. In a 2009 publication, data revealed that beginning 2007, Energy Drink related visits have been on a steady rise. The publication also revealed that majority of these energy drink ER cases involved adverse reactions, drug interactions, and abuse or misuse of medication or drugs. 2007 reported an incident of 10,000 cases and 2011 reported 20,783. That is a clear double in figures in less than five years.
If you are on regular medication for any condition or sickness, make sure to check labels for disclosure and inquire from your doctor whether it is safe for you to consume energy drinks. Get proper advice as to consumption limits. It is most important to ask for a doctor’s advice if you are taking prescription for depression or psychological and emotional problems.
Energy drinks can cause addiction and dependency, and that is never good. What’s supposed to energize and heighten your mind and body can do the very opposite when overly consumed. Sleep deprivation from overuse of energy drinks will impair bodily functions rendering you unfit to perform physical and mental tasks. Heavy consumption not only messes with your mind, it can cause instability in emotions as well. Anxiety and restlessness may cause erratic behavior and may prevent you from making intelligent and fair perceptions on things.
Energy drinks are come with multiple ingredients. The safety as to contents and product mix has been questioned by Health Organizations since most manufacturers are unable to give a verifiable rationale behind the concoctions. Side-effects such as vomiting (which could result in dehydration) and allergic reactions (which can lead to airway constriction) are some tell-tale signs of improper or unhealthy product composition.
There is an increasing pressure on the Food and Drug Administration to regulate energy drink products. Currently, restrictions are few and manufacturers have freedom to just throw in ingredients into their product and make whatever claims about product effectiveness. Some are so bold as to say that their products can be considered as dietary supplements that improve or increase performance, agility, metabolism, etc. Bold claims can deceive a lot of consumers into thinking that they are as potent as prescribed multivitamins and that they may even be used as substitutes.
Hopefully, the laxity will stop and the unfortunate death cases linked to energy drink consumption would move FDA to proper regulation of energy drink products. Los Angeles is wise to consider imposing age restrictions for energy drink purchases since death cases involved younger people. Anais Fournier was a 14 year old who died after downing two cans (equivalent to 6 cups) of energy drink in one day. Joshua Merrick was a 19 year old who regularly consumed energy drinks during workout.
People who find the need to consume energy drinks are warned to take them in moderation and only when absolutely necessary. There is nothing better than a full sleep the night before a strenuous task or fully loaded schedule. Renew and recondition your mind before a highly stressful project. Nurture your mind and body with health rejuvenating techniques and exercises. Keep a healthy diet and lifestyle; and always stay well hydrated. Water is the ultimate body cleanser and balancer.