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The Health Risks of Energy Drinks


By +Carolyn Richardson on Jun 13, 2012 10:00 AM in Healthy Eating

What motivated you to buy your first energy drink? Was it the commercials, athlete endorsements, or the newness of another category of “sports” drinks? Regardless of what got you to drink up, the misconceptions of energy drinks abound while the health risks are largely ignored. New research is shedding light on just how energy drinks affect our health.


Not a Sports Drink

Energy drinks are not sports drinks. A more appropriate name for them would be stimulant drinks as they usually have at least one stimulant on their ingredient list. The main stimulant is usually caffeine although it could also have others such as guarana, yerba mate, and taurine for example. Energy drinks, like sports drinks may also be fortified with vitamins and minerals and may also contain a blend of herbs and other additives. While sports drinks generally have electrolytes added to them such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, energy drinks may typically have a similar sodium content, but usually do not contain the potassium and magnesium that aids in hydration. Sugar wise, energy drinks tend to have twice the amount than sports drinks, with an 8 oz. serving of Red Bull at 28 grams vs. 14 grams in a Gatorade.

No More Caffeine Please

While caffeine is known to be in coffee, tea, and some sodas, its content is considerably high in energy drinks. In fact, according to a report in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the caffeine content in energy drinks is "three to five times the concentration of cola." While caffeine is known to improve alertness and mood, the "energy" the drinks are to provide has not been scientifically confirmed aside from the effects of the infusion of sugar in the blood stream which causes a crash 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion. While a separate study has confirmed an energy drink can slightly increase maximal muscle power, the amount needed to improve performance is 3 mg per kilogram or about 210 mg for a 150 pound athlete. Any lesser amount did not show an effect. However, any more caffeine could be harmful.

Real Health Risks

The current moderate dose of caffeine is between 200 and 300 mg a day. That means just one 8 oz. energy drink a day could cap safe levels. More than 500 mg a day is not advised as it's associated with irritability, nervousness, and fast heartbeat. A report by the American Heart Association found energy drinks can raise blood pressure as well as irregular heartbeats. In revealing her findings at the European Society of Hypertension annual meeting, lead researcher Dr Magdalena Szotowska urged doctors to inform patients with "hypertension, heart problems, and diabetes not to drink these." That would put about 40% of adults in America, accounting for those with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes, heart disease and hypertension at risk. Children are also at risk. Between 30% and 50% of children report consuming energy drinks. An article in Pediatrics warns of the potentially serious adverse effects of energy drinks for children as no more than 100 mg caffeine per day is recommended for children.

Tooth Decay

Yet another study reveals energy drinks may contribute to tooth decay. The enamel weight loss after exposure to energy drinks was significantly higher when compared to sports drinks due to higher levels of titratable acidity or how long it takes for saliva to neutralize acid in the mouth. The effect was two times more than with sports drinks. The loss of enamel can lead to tooth decay and cavities. While both sports drinks and energy drinks showed enamel loss, a statement by the American Beverage Association does point out the fact that "individual susceptibility to both dental cavities and tooth erosion varies depending on a person's dental hygiene behavior, lifestyle, total diet and genetic make-up." Either way, the study's results are alarming when added to the other health risks associated with energy drinks.


Your thoughts...

Are you an energy drink fan? Why or why not?



Comments


too true!

I think a fun addition to this article would be to include what the benefits from these are. but I don't think there are any.. are there? *ponders*


Would be nice to see a list of those that are good such as Science in Sports, and for Goodness shakes which are developed to help workouts and cool downs. Plus a list of bads such as powerade, red bull and relentless,


Original Post by: jennyw1337

too true!

I think a fun addition to this article would be to include what the benefits from these are. but I don't think there are any.. are there? *ponders*

redbull gives you wings :) you think you're flying and going too fast but the point is, you're still crawling on the surface of the earth and that you'll probably crash :) the marketing strategy, and in fact, they're selling us just a dream, nothing more.

what is said about consuming the substance included in rebull, called glucuronolactone, is that after the consumption, its effects to the blood specifications are very similar to those who had an heart attack a few minutes ago. 

in order to reach increased levels of energy, besides the food we eat, there's another matter which is probably the most important one: the oxygen. the more efficient our body converts it to carbon monoxide the more we burn calories. so we must teach our bodies how to increase that amount, by doing cardio, some level of resistance training and etc. 

 



good to know. thank you



Original Post by: spirituslibertatis

Original Post by: jennyw1337

too true!

I think a fun addition to this article would be to include what the benefits from these are. but I don't think there are any.. are there? *ponders*

redbull gives you wings :) you think you're flying and going too fast but the point is, you're still crawling on the surface of the earth and that you'll probably crash :) the marketing strategy, and in fact, they're selling us just a dream, nothing more.

what is said about consuming the substance included in rebull, called glucuronolactone, is that after the consumption, its effects to the blood specifications are very similar to those who had an heart attack a few minutes ago. 

in order to reach increased levels of energy, besides the food we eat, there's another matter which is probably the most important one: the oxygen. the more efficient our body converts it to carbon monoxide the more we burn calories. so we must teach our bodies how to increase that amount, by doing cardio, some level of resistance training and etc. 

 


Glucuronolactone is a naturally occurring chemical that is an important structural component of nearly all connective tissues



Personally, Im not an advocate of them, though I do have one every couple weeks just to get me moving out of being lazy or sluggish.

What I write here may be pretty loose on facts, but heres a bit of education I'd picked up over the years:

1) There was a time that drinking water commonly more hazardous than good due to bacteria etc, so wine/alcohole was typically consumed. We all know what booze does to ones productivity.

2) Here comes the Turks and their coffee.... WHAMMO, productivity shoots up! And whats coffee? a stimulant.

So, stimulant drinks are bad?  My view? Anything in moderation.

-C



Original Post by: spirituslibertatis

Original Post by: jennyw1337

too true!

I think a fun addition to this article would be to include what the benefits from these are. but I don't think there are any.. are there? *ponders*

redbull gives you wings :) you think you're flying and going too fast but the point is, you're still crawling on the surface of the earth and that you'll probably crash :) the marketing strategy, and in fact, they're selling us just a dream, nothing more.

what is said about consuming the substance included in rebull, called glucuronolactone, is that after the consumption, its effects to the blood specifications are very similar to those who had an heart attack a few minutes ago. 

in order to reach increased levels of energy, besides the food we eat, there's another matter which is probably the most important one: the oxygen. the more efficient our body converts it to carbon monoxide the more we burn calories. so we must teach our bodies how to increase that amount, by doing cardio, some level of resistance training and etc. 

 


I think that you will actually find that the Human Body converts oxygen into Carbon DIOXIDE, whilst cars (automobiles) spew out Carbon MONOXIDE



Energy drinks scare me and I have not tried or even bought one.  I don't drink sports drinks either.  To hydrate I drink water.  And guess what?  It's water from the tap or water cooler.  I try not to consume caffeine.  If I do end up having a couple drinks with caffeine in one day, I usually end up with a nasty headache the next day. 



The one time I tried a sports drink, it tasted like a bottle of salt water with Kool-Aid mixed in.  As far as 'energy' drinks I won't even go there.



Original Post by: pj27559

Original Post by: spirituslibertatis

Original Post by: jennyw1337

too true!

I think a fun addition to this article would be to include what the benefits from these are. but I don't think there are any.. are there? *ponders*

redbull gives you wings :) you think you're flying and going too fast but the point is, you're still crawling on the surface of the earth and that you'll probably crash :) the marketing strategy, and in fact, they're selling us just a dream, nothing more.

what is said about consuming the substance included in rebull, called glucuronolactone, is that after the consumption, its effects to the blood specifications are very similar to those who had an heart attack a few minutes ago. 

in order to reach increased levels of energy, besides the food we eat, there's another matter which is probably the most important one: the oxygen. the more efficient our body converts it to carbon monoxide the more we burn calories. so we must teach our bodies how to increase that amount, by doing cardio, some level of resistance training and etc. 

 


I think that you will actually find that the Human Body converts oxygen into Carbon DIOXIDE, whilst cars (automobiles) spew out Carbon MONOXIDE


thankx doc. that'll help me out :)



Original Post by: spirituslibertatis

Original Post by: pj27559

Original Post by: spirituslibertatis

Original Post by: jennyw1337

too true!

I think a fun addition to this article would be to include what the benefits from these are. but I don't think there are any.. are there? *ponders*

redbull gives you wings :) you think you're flying and going too fast but the point is, you're still crawling on the surface of the earth and that you'll probably crash :) the marketing strategy, and in fact, they're selling us just a dream, nothing more.

what is said about consuming the substance included in rebull, called glucuronolactone, is that after the consumption, its effects to the blood specifications are very similar to those who had an heart attack a few minutes ago. 

in order to reach increased levels of energy, besides the food we eat, there's another matter which is probably the most important one: the oxygen. the more efficient our body converts it to carbon monoxide the more we burn calories. so we must teach our bodies how to increase that amount, by doing cardio, some level of resistance training and etc. 

 


I think that you will actually find that the Human Body converts oxygen into Carbon DIOXIDE, whilst cars (automobiles) spew out Carbon MONOXIDE


thankx doc. that'll help me out :)


My pleasure, it seems like you need all the help that you can get Laughing



Original Post by: pj27559

Original Post by: spirituslibertatis

Original Post by: pj27559

Original Post by: spirituslibertatis

Original Post by: jennyw1337

too true!

I think a fun addition to this article would be to include what the benefits from these are. but I don't think there are any.. are there? *ponders*

redbull gives you wings :) you think you're flying and going too fast but the point is, you're still crawling on the surface of the earth and that you'll probably crash :) the marketing strategy, and in fact, they're selling us just a dream, nothing more.

what is said about consuming the substance included in rebull, called glucuronolactone, is that after the consumption, its effects to the blood specifications are very similar to those who had an heart attack a few minutes ago. 

in order to reach increased levels of energy, besides the food we eat, there's another matter which is probably the most important one: the oxygen. the more efficient our body converts it to carbon monoxide the more we burn calories. so we must teach our bodies how to increase that amount, by doing cardio, some level of resistance training and etc. 

 


I think that you will actually find that the Human Body converts oxygen into Carbon DIOXIDE, whilst cars (automobiles) spew out Carbon MONOXIDE


thankx doc. that'll help me out :)


My pleasure, it seems like you need all the help that you can get Laughing


sure :) you're always welcomed here, with your endless wisdom. :)



Energy drinks are addictive and alot of people become dependent on it for their bodies crave that instant feeling of energy, but as indicated, the energy rush they get is only for a short time and most people I know that do energy drinks, consume another for that instant rush within the hour.  Its just another addiction that an individual has to work to defeat, why do that to yourself? 



I'm very picky about what I drink (this happened naturally: tastewise there are a lot of drinks I don't like, and that includes anything carbonated, coffee, etc.), so I've never had a sports drink or an energy drink, and I'm happy not to.

However, some things about this article irritate me a little bit because I feel like its effectiveness is relying on the way a lot of people tend to read (devaluating words like 'may', 'could', etc.). I felt like 70% of the article was speculation. I'm not trying to say that energy drinks are good, but I'd rather be given more than speculation to be told they are seriously bad especially with the tone this article provided in the conclusion.

So, here is what this article tells us:

- "energy drinks tend to have twice the amount [of sugar] than sports drinks" while having a similar sodium content but lacking the potassium and magnesium that sports drinks have

- "the caffeine content in energy drinks is 'three to five times the concentration of cola'" and "the 'energy' the drinks are to provide has not been scientifically confirmed aside from the effects of the infusion of sugar in the blood stream" --> I'm sure we all know that lack of evidence is proof of absence, right? Here we have been slipped the whole 'because we can't prove it doesn't exist, it exists' argument. Now, it may end up being completely true, but it also may end up being completely false, and it's still important to read it as such.

- "More than 500 mg a day [of caffeine] is not advised as it's associated with irritability, nervousness, and fast heartbeat." --> To play devil's advocate here, the choice of words is 'it's associated with' and not 'it causes'

- People who suffer from hypertension, heart problems, and diabetes should not drink energy drinks as a scientific report found that they "can raise blood pressure as well as irregular heartbeats". (yay, backed by research)

- "Yet another study reveals energy drinks may contribute to tooth decay." --> keyword here is 'may', and the article does go on to say that "'individual susceptibility to both dental cavities and tooth erosion varies depending on a person's dental hygiene behavior, lifestyle, total diet and genetic make-up'". Though it does make logical sense to me, so many things people drink contribute to tooth decay, and I imagine sodas would be worse than sports drinks, which is all energy drinks are compared to here (though this is pure speculation on my part).

...And we conclude with "Either way, the study's results are alarming when added to the other health risks associated with energy drinks".

All I've really taken away from this is that if you have an energy drink, it's advisable not to have any other caffeine that day, you should recognize the boost is temporary and there's much more sugar in it than you need, if you have other health problems energy drinks can aggravate them, and this is another one of these acidic drinks so many people seem to love to drink that tend to be harmful to teeth.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but I'm failing to see how the "results are alarming"?



Ahh I remember when I drank too much nos at one time on an empty stomach at school. I literally felt like I was having a panic attack for over thirty minutes. I had to go to the nurse. When I felt a little better, I was sent to my band class, and my friend said that he can tell something was up with me because I was so hyper. My heart kept beating out of my chest and I couldn't focus. Matter of fact, this feeling lasted for I think 2 hours or a little more.



energy drinks do absolutely nothing for me, but i can drink a pot of coffee and then fall asleep ten minutes later.  i don't know what other stimulants besides caffeine they contain but i don't get any mental or physical energy from them at all.



Is there a difference between energy drinks and things like 5-hour energy that are supposed to be primarily vitamins?


What would be interesting is a study regarding the effects of all the other stuff they put into these things such as taurine, etc. along with the vitamins (amounts over the FDA recommendations). I have a feeling that this makes the kidneys work very hard.



I tell everyone I can...my sons heart surgery was linked to, in part, to too many energy drinks, stress and dehydration. If you feel you need to drink them please don't use them when your working in the heat.



I wouldn't touch these so called 'energy drinks' even if I was paid to drink them.

It's a bit creepy how people will drink/eat anything that's marketed cunningly enough. Just shows what huge power the junk food/drink industry has, with its multi-million pound advertising and sponsorship campaigns.



Original Post by: spirituslibertatis

Original Post by: jennyw1337

too true!

I think a fun addition to this article would be to include what the benefits from these are. but I don't think there are any.. are there? *ponders*

redbull gives you wings :) you think you're flying and going too fast but the point is, you're still crawling on the surface of the earth and that you'll probably crash :) the marketing strategy, and in fact, they're selling us just a dream, nothing more.

what is said about consuming the substance included in rebull, called glucuronolactone, is that after the consumption, its effects to the blood specifications are very similar to those who had an heart attack a few minutes ago. 

in order to reach increased levels of energy, besides the food we eat, there's another matter which is probably the most important one: the oxygen. the more efficient our body converts it to carbon monoxide the more we burn calories. so we must teach our bodies how to increase that amount, by doing cardio, some level of resistance training and etc. 

 


wow do a little research before posting your facts Kiss

http://www.snopes.com/medical/potables/redbull.asp



And no-one ever mentions there are sugar free versions available of these drinks either ......



I drank loads of these in uni and I regret it now because all the crap never gets burnt off and makes trying to lose the weight very difficult.


Original Post by: spirituslibertatis

Original Post by: pj27559

Original Post by: spirituslibertatis

Original Post by: pj27559

Original Post by: spirituslibertatis

Original Post by: jennyw1337

too true!

I think a fun addition to this article would be to include what the benefits from these are. but I don't think there are any.. are there? *ponders*

redbull gives you wings :) you think you're flying and going too fast but the point is, you're still crawling on the surface of the earth and that you'll probably crash :) the marketing strategy, and in fact, they're selling us just a dream, nothing more.

what is said about consuming the substance included in rebull, called glucuronolactone, is that after the consumption, its effects to the blood specifications are very similar to those who had an heart attack a few minutes ago. 

in order to reach increased levels of energy, besides the food we eat, there's another matter which is probably the most important one: the oxygen. the more efficient our body converts it to carbon monoxide the more we burn calories. so we must teach our bodies how to increase that amount, by doing cardio, some level of resistance training and etc. 

 


I think that you will actually find that the Human Body converts oxygen into Carbon DIOXIDE, whilst cars (automobiles) spew out Carbon MONOXIDE


thankx doc. that'll help me out :)


My pleasure, it seems like you need all the help that you can get Laughing


sure :) you're always welcomed here, with your endless wisdom. :)


Meow!



Original Post by: melizabeth

Original Post by: spirituslibertatis

Original Post by: jennyw1337

too true!

I think a fun addition to this article would be to include what the benefits from these are. but I don't think there are any.. are there? *ponders*

redbull gives you wings :) you think you're flying and going too fast but the point is, you're still crawling on the surface of the earth and that you'll probably crash :) the marketing strategy, and in fact, they're selling us just a dream, nothing more.

what is said about consuming the substance included in rebull, called glucuronolactone, is that after the consumption, its effects to the blood specifications are very similar to those who had an heart attack a few minutes ago. 

in order to reach increased levels of energy, besides the food we eat, there's another matter which is probably the most important one: the oxygen. the more efficient our body converts it to carbon monoxide the more we burn calories. so we must teach our bodies how to increase that amount, by doing cardio, some level of resistance training and etc. 

 


wow do a little research before posting your facts Kiss

http://www.snopes.com/medical/potables/redbull.asp


here's the place for comments, as you can see. and for doctor's section, you should click on the navigation toolbar on the top of the page or the user called "pj something-the-one-who-ain't-got-any-info-about itself" would probably help you as it taught me that we exhaled carbon dioxide instead of mono. anyway. it seems the purpose of being here is forgotten. we are here to form a community to support each other for successful achievement of our goals. no one is here to blame anyone or to trust or to take any one's advises so seriously. i have read about glucuronolactone substance changed the blood properties so similar to the one's who had heart attack a short period ago, and shared it with you. that's it. nothing more.

if you like some more info, then you are the one to make some research about it and let me tell you, here is the wrong place because no one here is an expert, just normal people who are happy with the support they got from each other.



If you are so into support, why throw around insults at those who merely point out a few facts - no don't feel compelled to answer that one



Original Post by: pj27559

If you are so into support, why throw around insults at those who merely point out a few facts - no don't feel compelled to answer that one


I see no insults... now, are *you* making stuff up? ;)


the user called "pj something-the-one-who-ain't-got-any-info-about itself"

Let's just do the civilised thing and accept that people can have differing views, it is after all what makes debate interesting. 

Nothing that I have said should be construed as advice, medical or otherwise, or even fact, it's simply opinion, and people are allowed to have differing opinions on things.

As for the "doc" references, in case anyone misunderstands I have no medical background or qualifications, in fact few formal qualifications at all. 

The small amount I know about carbon dioxide is just about all I remember of High School biology classes, and carbon monoxide is just about all I recall from chemistry class.

 

"live & let live"

 

 

 

 

 



Original Post by: pj27559

the user called "pj something-the-one-who-ain't-got-any-info-about itself"

Let's just do the civilised thing and accept that people can have differing views, it is after all what makes debate interesting. 

Nothing that I have said should be construed as advice, medical or otherwise, or even fact, it's simply opinion, and people are allowed to have differing opinions on things.

As for the "doc" references, in case anyone misunderstands I have no medical background or qualifications, in fact few formal qualifications at all. 

The small amount I know about carbon dioxide is just about all I remember of High School biology classes, and carbon monoxide is just about all I recall from chemistry class.

 

"live & let live"

 

 

 

 

 


oh jeez. I guess I can't read well today! I see now what you mean. maybe it's a side effect of those energy drinks... insulting people. and not being able to read. :)


Uh Oh...



Mmm this makes me want a Monster or Rockstar right now... lol I LOVE the taste of energy drinks but I won't buy them anymore because of how crappy they make me feel. But nothing else compares to that flavor! In my opinion anyway Laughing I suppose I could get one and just take a couple sips here and there but I have a problem with self control so for now it's just a no go.



Original Post by: jgreen39

Mmm this makes me want a Monster or Rockstar right now... lol I LOVE the taste of energy drinks but I won't buy them anymore because of how crappy they make me feel. But nothing else compares to that flavor! In my opinion anyway Laughing I suppose I could get one and just take a couple sips here and there but I have a problem with self control so for now it's just a no go.


That reminds me of the massive sugar cravings I had with chocolate.

I had to have a chocolate bar every day and I think it was purely a sugar fix.

When I started to lose weight I had to ban myself from chocolate completely for a month. After that when I did try chocolate again I thought it was "OK", but I really wondered what all the previous fuss was about.

Now I still eat chocolate from time to time, but it is no longer a compulsion.

I don't think that I would still be losing weight now if I had not done this.



I love energy drinks. I drink a zero calorie Monster almost everyday; I think they taste great and I've never noticed a feeling of 'crashing'. They make me feel great and more alert. I guess that's an unpopular opinion. 



Maybe an un-popular opinion, but a perfectly valid one.

I drink sugar free versions of some energy drinks, particularly when I am on early shift and crawling out of bed at 4.00am when any help is welcome, paticularly later in the day when tiredness starts to kick in on the way home.

If you don't thinhk that the drinks are causing you any particular problem and you are not drinking them all day (and even if you are), it's ultimately your decision.

If we only ate & drank only what we are "supposed" to we might live 5 minutes longer, but it would be a boring existence!

 

 

 



Original Post by: Malleus88

Would be nice to see a list of those that are good such as Science in Sports, and for Goodness shakes which are developed to help workouts and cool downs. Plus a list of bads such as powerade, red bull and relentless,

I had five Red Bulls one time...and it was not fun..it's like you're tired, but you can't sleep...and I had to wait the whole day for it to go away. Why I did it. well...I wasn't thinking really. 



I have WPW a weird heart condition, lol. if I have any kind of caffeinated beverages or energy drinks, my heart is a mess! I typically end up with a pounding heart and fainting.....



BRONDO! It's what plants crave!!!



The whole concept of energy drinks is spooky. I'm sure it's a huge business but the marketing has "Druggie" overtones

 



Try the INSANELY HEALTHY ENERGY DRINK called 'Verve!'... It comes in Zero Sugar, but the grams of sugar in a regular one, only amounts to 10 grams, and has only 70 calories...PLUS it has a CRAZY amount of vitamins and minerals.   I drink the Zero Sugar, but limit myself to one or two a day...

They say, to reap the full benefits of the synergistic vitamins and minerals, that you need to ingest at least 3 a day... [or take their nutritional supplement instead of a serving of 'Verve!']

I have been doing 3 servings of either their energy drink AND/OR vitamin/mineral dosage for about a month now, and am SO EXCITED!

I have abundant energy, no jitters, or sleeplessness, and a general feeling of 'wellness' that can only be attributed to these products...

The company that makes it is called VEMMA... do a little research on it!



Uhhhhh. ENERGY?

 



Original Post by: syou406065847

Uhhhhh. ENERGY?

 


Uhhhhh. ENERGY?



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