These advertisements usually do not emphasize energy derived from the sugar they contain, but rather increased energy is due to a variety of stimulants, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Energy drinks generally contain ingredients such a sugar, guarana, ginseng, taurine, B vitamins, carnitine, and ginkgo biloba. Guarana is a leading producer of caffeine, which is the main ingredient in many of the drinks. The caffeine herbs, vitamins and other ingredients combined in energy drinks are supposed to improve strength, endurance, and mental function.
According to an article from WebMD, Since Red Bull, the first energy drink to hit the U. S. market, launched in 1997, the market has boomed now totaling at least $5. 4 billion a year in the U. S. (Energy Drinks: Hazardous to Your Health? ). Makers of energy drinks generally market them as dietary supplement, in which dietary supplements are regulated different than soft-drinks. Although the FDA limits the caffeine contents in soft-drinks, energy drinks have no such limits because they are a form of dietary supplement. For example, a Coca-Cola Classic contains 34.
5 milligrams per 12-oz serving and Monster Energy Drink contains 160 milligrams per 16-ounce serving. A big difference as you can see. The high levels of caffeine can be detrimental to your health. A benefit of energy drinks are that they help to relieve fatigue and mental alertness by raising energy levels. For that very reason, college students tend to drink energy drinks before a long drive home or to stay awake for an all-night study session. As stated before, energy drinks are packed with guarana, which is a natural equivalent to caffeine.
Besides giving you energy, guarana has been traditionally used to treat diarrhea and blood clots. Still, our ancestors also used guarana to promote physical endurance and increase mental acuity. Besides guarana, taurine also made its way into of the main ingredients in many energy drinks today. According to an article in Edrinks. net, [Taurine is] one of the most abundant acidic chemicals in the human body and is found in the central nevous system and skeletal tissues, but its very concentrated in the brain and heart (Potential Benefits of Energy Drinks).
Taurine is basically a substance that helps to regulate heartbeat, maintain cell membrane stability and prevent brain cell over-activity. It is also often used to treat anxiety, hypoglycemia, epilepsy, and seizures. Along with guarana and taurine, energy drinks are packed with B Vitamins. B Vitamins are necessary for cell growth, health, and metabolism in the human body. B Vitamins can also help foster a positive mental attitude and enhance learning abilities. Also, energy drinks advertise their usage of ginseng in their drinks.
According to Energy Fiend, Ginseng is a slow growing root that contains complex carbohydrates, used to increase energy, anti-fatigue, stress relief, and memory (Energy Drink Ingredients). Through the combination of guarana, taurine, B vitamins and ginseng, energy drinks give off the impression that they are the perfect form of strength and healthiness. Although the combination of healthy ingredients seems great, a surplus of each can be detrimental to your body. One drawback of energy drinks is they contain too much caffeine.
Red Bull, one of the most popular energy drinks, contains nearly 80 milligrams of caffeine per 12-ounce can, but other drinks contain several times this amount. The amount of caffeine in an energy drink isnt always indicated on the label, so it is difficult to gauge how much one is consuming. Like a shock to the system, an energy drink can give your body a caffeinated jolt. According to an article in ScienceDaily, Researchers believe the caffeine and taurine levels in energy drinks could be responsible for increases in blood pressure and heart rate (Energy Drinks May Be Harmful To People With Hypertension, Heart Disease).
The increase in blood pressure and heart rate is known not to rise to dangerous levels among healthy individuals under the age of 30, but it could be significant in individuals with a cardiovascular disease of those with high blood pressure. By drinking energy drinks in excess, researchers also say that energy drinks could lead to heart complications. Along with increased heart rate, energy drinks dehydrate the body. The caffeine in energy drinks acts as a diuretic and promotes dehydration. Energy drinks are formulated to boost energy, not to replace lost fluid during exercise like sports drinks do.
During exercise, your body is constantly losing water through sweat. Also, the high amounts of caffeine stimulate urine production, which removes more water from the body. It is important for you to keep your body hydrated if you are drinking energy drinks. In addition, college students are going to extremes by mixing energy drinks and alcohol. Red Bull and vodkas and Four Lokos have become popular mixed drinks at bars because they reduce the fatigue of alcohol while enhancing the feel good buzz.
According to an article from CBS News, ¦both caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, so mixing them can cause dehydration. A dehydrated body is slow to process alcohol, and that can interfere with coordination, balance, and ability to regulate body temperature (Four Loko: Is New Party Brew Liquid Cocaine). The person may not realize how intoxicated they may be because they do not feel the lethargic feeling that depressants, such as alcohol, give them. Too much caffeine and dehydration are two of the many reasons people should stay away from energy drinks.
In conclusion, the dangers of energy drinks far outweigh the benefits. Even though the ingredients in energy drinks look beneficial, they can really be detrimental to your health. If you are going to drink energy drinks, keep your body hydrated. Lastly, do not mix alcohol and energy drinks. The writing in this essay is my own work. If I have used outside sources, I have acknowledged them through correct documentation. Works Cited Aina, Hunter. Four Loko: Is New Party Brew Liquid Cocaine?
CBS News. Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News CBS News. CBS News, 17 June 2010. Web. 6 Apr. 2011. . Energy Drink Side Effects. Energy Fiend Obsessed With Caffeine. Web. 6 Apr. 2011. . Kathleen, Doheeny. Energy Drinks: Hazardous to Your Health? WebMD Better Information. Better Health. 24 Sept. 2008. Web. 6 Apr. 2011. . Potential Benefits of Energy Drinks. EDrinks. net Consumer Guide to Energy Drinks, Sports Drinks & More! Web. 6 Apr. 2011. .