Energy drinks have become increasingly popular, especially with teens and young adults, and more than 500 new energy drinks have launched worldwide last year. But experts are questioning whether people are harming their health by drinking them.
Most energy drinks are just marketing ploys, according to Mark Kantor, professor of family and consumer sciences and nutrition at the University of Maryland, who specializes in consumer education. “I'm not aware of any scientific data that they do what they say they're going to do," He said "They don't give you more energy." For the most part, they are nothing much more than a can full of caffeine and a lot of sugar.
Although herbal ingredients such as taurine and guarana, as well as vitamins and minerals are often added to make these energy drinks sound healthy, the amounts of natural ingredients found in them are usually so small, they make little difference.
Nutritionists warn that these drinks contain excessively high amounts of caffeine and sugar, which can hook kids on an unhealthy jolt-and-crash cycle. The caffeine comes from multiple sources, making it hard to tell how much the drinks contain.
The caffeine in energy drinks can give a temporary or false feeling of energy for a short period of time as it raises the blood pressure, but then the body goes through a dramatic drop in energy an hour or so later as the caffein and sugar leave the bloodstream, causing sluggishness, mood changes, and a burned out feeling.
Not only do energy drinks usually fail to offer a special boost, but their high caffeine and sugar content can cause extreme dehydration, and are considered by medical experts to be dangerous for the young and physically active. Caffeine will worsen insulin sensitivity, which is one of the major causes of diabetes and chronic illness. Other studies have shown that caffeine leads to heart problems. In addition to the caffeine overload, it's important to stay away from drinks spiked with sugars that raise your insulin levels, contributing to a host of modern diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
Energy drinks should not be used as thirst quenchers or as replenishing liquids when exercising. Energy drinks are not a suitable form of usable energy for the body, which needs good carbohydrates to perform well. When used before sports activities they actually hinder an athlete's performance by dehydrating the body faster and forcing the muscles to work harder. They slow the body's ability to absorb water, which is the last thing an athlete needs.
A few of the potential health risks and long term health challenges associated with energy drinks such as Red Bull include depression, heart health, diabetes, nervous system, poor sleeping habits, synthetic chemicals, effects of carbonation, additive behaviors, premature aging.
Energy drinks are even more dangerous when combined with alcohol, which is actually a very popular mixed drink with young people, but doctors warn that mixing such large doses of caffeine with alcohol is dangerous, especially for the heart.
Also, since alcohol already dehydrates a person, when it's mixed with energy drinks "double dehydration" can occur. The more dehydrated you are, the higher the blood level of alcohol, and the higher the danger. And the caffeine doesn't make a person less drunk, it just makes them feel more awake, which often falsely leads the person to think they are able to drive. And if that isn’t bad enough, energy drinks enhance hangovers because caffeine, like alcohol, is a diuretic and dehydrates the body.
Several countries, such as France and Denmark, have already banned the sales of energy drinks like Red Bull, following the deaths of several people who mixed the energy drink with alcohol.
On Vital Votes, nutrition coach Josh Rubin from San Marcos, California explains, "These drinks are a scam to get people to keep coming back. Americans are so tired that they actually need this stuff to live. When you eat sugar, gluten, etc. your body releases opiates. Then when you stop drinking this crap, you body craves it and you need more.”
Symptoms of caffeine overdose include nervousness, insomnia, heart palpitations, tremors, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, chest pain, and neurological symptoms. If an addicted person stops drinking caffeine, it is possible to suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fatigue, depressed mood and difficulty concentrating.
Many of us would love to have an increased energy boost occasionally, but it is important to realize that energy drinks are not the best way get that. It is far wiser to address the underlying reasons why you do not have as much energy as you would like. To increase your energy you need to live a healthy lifestyle including getting sleep, exercise and healthy food to fuel you body.
A much safer alternative for a quick energy boost can be found from a natural organic company called ForeverGreen. They have recently released a new herbal energy product called AmpliFire. AmpliFire gives you the energy you need to create the life you want today, while supporting your overall health. Don't risk your health and happiness for artificial energy. AmpliFire is an exclusive combination of safe energy and natural health products.
AmpliFire utilizes ForeverGreen's patent-pending technology to take natural plant concentrates and render them water-soluble, making them instantly absorbed. These proprietary blends contain natural, safe, clean and organic ingredients for instant energy that lasts for hours.