Energy drinks are popular and doing great business. The global energy drink business was worth $39 billion in 2013, and is supposed to reach $61 billion by 2021, but why is it facing so much backlash by health experts?
The WHO says that they “may pose danger to public health,” and the American Academy of Paediatrics cautions that children “should not consume” them.
What’s in your energy drink?
All energy drinks contain caffeine; added sugars; vitamins, such as B vitamins; and legal stimulants, such as guarana, a plant that grows in the Amazon; taurine, an amino acid that’s naturally found in meat and fish; and L-carnitine, a substance in our bodies that helps turn fat into energy.
Dr. John Higgins, a sports cardiologist with McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston said that over the years’ experts are getting closer and closer to the answers regarding safety of energy drinks.
Higgins said that more research is needed to determine how those ingredients could interact to cause negative health effects.
Katherine Zeratsky, a clinical dietitian at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota says that
“Overall, the concern is that these vitamins, amino acids and herbals are often in higher concentrations than naturally in food or plants, and the effects when combined especially with caffeine may be enhanced,”
Higgins added saying that “People need to be aware of that,” he said. “For certain groups, it could be potentially dangerous, like for those under 18, women who are pregnant, people who have a caffeine sensitivity, people who don’t consume caffeine on a regular basis and people who are taking certain medications, like Adderall for attention deficit (disorder).”
Have a look at how certain parts of your body may be affected after consuming more than the recommended amount of energy drink, according to experts.
‘The arteries of this man’s heart were completely locked up’
Higgin said that “energy drinks not only have been shown to raise stress levels, increase heart rate, increase blood pressure, they’ve also been shown to make the “blood a little bit thicker”.
He further added that after having an energy drink, the heart rate increases, your rapidly beating heart could pose a health risk. Energy drinks have an impact on your heart and cardiovascular system as caffeine interacts with other ingredients, such as taurine.
Higgins added that were many cases where people went into cardiac arrest after consuming more than one energy drink , and on testing them, they found very high levels of caffeine and taurine in the toxicology report.
In one case, a young 28-year-old who drunk eight cans of an energy drink actually went into cardiac arrest, and they found his arteries of his heart were completely locked up. When they were able to open them up, all the testing revealed nothing wrong with this person other than he had high levels of caffeine and taurine,” he said.
Energy drinks and the brain
According to a paper published in the International Journal of Health Sciences in 2015, depending on how many energy drinks you consume, doses of caffeine equal to or above 200 milligrams can be linked to caffeine intoxication, Symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, gastrointestinal irritation, muscle twitching, restlessness and periods of inexhaustibility.
We can safely say that Energy drinks are best avoided and replaced with a nice cup of coffee or tea. A reasonable dose of caffeine without the risks of energy drinks! So why choose something artificial for your body when you have nature’s best produce for you to consume without any side effects!