Walk the aisles of a supermarket and you can find them full of various energy drinks. Drinking energy drinks has become a trend these days. A lot of children and teenagers too have also started having them in increasing quantities, thus, the safety of these energy drinks becomes all the more important.
Are there any benefits of consuming energy drinks?
To say that energy drinks have only side effects and no benefits, would be incorrect. You can consume Isotonic Drinks which can give you the benefits you expect from a tasteful energy drink without having to worry a lot about side effects. If you are involved in athletic workouts, then Isotonic Drinks should be a good choice. Some of the benefits of Isotonic drinks include:
- They help improve fatigue and build energy levels
- They are refreshing and come in multiple flavors
- They may contain certain vitamins and amino acids that help speed up recovery process, especially when you are involved in high-intensity training
- They come affordable and are convenient to consume
- They help restore electrolyte balance
However, inspite of isotonic drinks benefits, people might prefer drinking other energy drinks, and there are some health concerns that have been raised from time-to-time regarding their consumption. Most energy drinks are a mix of stimulating herbs and nutrients. When taken in moderate amounts, these can help your body. But for those who become addicted to these drinks or are sensitive to the components present in most energy drinks, these can cause various health issues.
Gym enthusiasts often consume energy drinks. But there are certain side effects which you may be unaware of.
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5 energy drinks side effects you must know about.
High amounts of caffeine are related to jitteriness and nervousness. Nervousness may be characterized by excessive sweating, nausea, tremors, and racing thoughts. Often it is seen that nervousness may eventually lead to anxiety.
is the inability to fall asleep. If you drink energy drinks in high quantities, there are chances that you’d be burning the midnight oil. Most energy drinks interfere with sleep after various hours of intake. The predominant substance of most energy drinks is caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that speeds blood flow to the brain, thus, making you more energized and alert. This would in turn not let you sleep. It is recommended that to avoid insomnia, energy drinks and other caffeinated drinks should not be had 6 -7 hours before bedtime.
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3. Stomach irritation
Digestive problems are a common side effect of having energy drinks. The most common problem being nausea. Additional gastrointestinal symptoms include – vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and frequent defecation. Caffeine also triggers the production of hydrochloric acid (HCL) in the stomach which may cause heartburn and ulcers. If you have gastric ulcers or are suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease, then staying away from energy drinks will be beneficial for you.
4. Cardiovascular effects
An increased intake of energy drinks is linked to tachycardia
, which is commonly known as a rapid heartbeat. Although experts say that this condition is caused when energy drinks with a high amount of caffeine are consumed. But if a person is sensitive to caffeine, even moderate amounts can cause rapid heartbeat. Mixing these energy drinks with other stimulants like alcohol may increase the risk of cardiovascular side effects.
After chugging a can of an energy drink you might feel energized, but it isn’t doing any good for your heart. They increase heart rate, heightened stress levels, and studies reveal that energy drinks have also been found to make blood a tad bit thicker. It is suggested that people who are sensitive to caffeine or have a history of heart diseases should monitor their daily dose of caffeine from all sources.
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Irritability and mood swings are commonly noticed in people who regularly consume energy drinks. Since these drinks are high on sugar
and caffeine, it can interfere and over-stimulate your nervous system. When taken in high doses or by people who are sensitive to its components, it may also lead to anxiety and depression.
If you experience mood swings or anxiety after drinking energy drinks, you should reduce the quantity. Consulting your doctor is also recommended.
Side effects of certain ingredients
Apart from these side effects, there are potential problems with specific ingredients present in these energy drinks. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Caffeine is one of the most popular widely consumed substances the world over. A daily dose of 400mg/day is the caffeine tolerance of most individuals. Increasing the dosage can lead to –
- Heart palpitations
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased urination
- Reduce body’s response to insulin
Caffeine can be found in various natural ingredients like green tea extracts
and coffee extracts. Thus, it is important that you read the ingredient list of energy drink carefully.
In a lot of energy drinks, bit of guarana is added. Guarana is a plant from Amazon region. Addition of this to energy drinks increases the overall caffeine content.
Most energy drinks have high sugar content, which instead of doing good will do greater harm for your body if consumed high quantities. The side effects include –
- Tooth decay
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
is one of the popular herbs because of it’s strong set of benefits
. However, one may experience certain side effects too. Some studies have linked ginseng to sleeplessness. Thus, an increased intake of energy drinks may cause insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns.
Other side effects of ginseng include – low blood pressure, palpitations, miscarriage, appetite suppression, vertigo, headache, and fever. It is often seen that once you get used to energy drinks or caffeinated drinks, it is difficult to cut down on them. But for the greater good, it is essential that you start lowering the intake, one day at a time.
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Dependence and Withdrawal
Overconsumption of any substance is bad and when you try to get rid of it, your body starts showing withdrawal symptoms. The most common withdrawal symptoms include –
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Flu-like symptoms
- Mood swings
Some people also experience muscle stiffness, nausea, and decreased cognitive performance. All these symptoms can act as a barrier and disrupt your normal chores. If you are an ardent energy drink fan or a coffee enthusiast, then it is time you need to cut down on the intake. The best way to reduce your caffeine intake without suffering from withdrawal symptoms is to take gradual steps. Weaning yourself off works best. In addition to that, drink lots of water
. Keeping yourself hydrated works effectively. You can also talk to your doctor about taking painkillers, to reduce muscle pain which is a part of withdrawal.
Energy drinks, when taken in moderate amounts, may not be as harmful as when taken in high quantities. Still, for certain groups it could be dangerous, like – if you’re pregnant, are sensitive to caffeine, don’t consume caffeinated drinks on a regular basis, or are taking certain medications.
Remember that taking a step away from something that you’ve been so addicted to will be difficult. But health & fitness can’t be compromised for