The Truth about Energy Drinks
Imagine running a full marathon on a hot and humid day. Sweat dripping, muscles aching, feet tired, but you keep moving forward on your last energy reserve. This was your goal to complete at least one full marathon this year. So, regardless of how tired you are, you keep forging on, running until you feel dizzy. You won’t give up until you cross that finish line. Before you started the race your friend introduced you to a new solution to lasting on the track, or maybe you saw those muscular athletes with shredded bodies on the television advertising them: energy drink. Sounds familiar?
You quickly rush to your nearest store to purchase a 6 pack that you believe will give you the extra boost that you so desire. Little do you know that with every purchase that you are making, comes a life long battle with health issues and conditions. The flashy adverts on the television and on social media only portray the good side of the drinks, which rarely match up to their side effects. Still don’t believe me? Well let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the subject.
EFFECTS OF ENERGY DRINKS
Energy drinks are beverages that contain stimulants usually caffeine that are meant to provide mental and physical stimulation. These drinks are sweetened with enough sugar to last a ferret on a wheel an entire year. These appeals to athletes, sport men and women and individuals from all walks of lives. The immediate benefit of the drink is apparent: give you the energy boost that you need. These drinks are packaged like sodas but are far more lethal than them. One can of this popular beverage may contain shots of caffeine ranging from45mg to 600mg. Caffeine is one of the most popular stimulants available to man. It is estimated that everyday 1,000,000 gallons of this stimulant are consumed globally. Many people believe and swear by caffeine. This compared to the dose of caffeine on the energy drink sounds trivial, right? But this is farther from the truth.
Apart from caffeine, these drinks are heavily combined with herbs such as ginseng. Yes, the popular Chinese herb that helps with memory retention. I know you are starting to feel justified by your consumption of these drinks, but read on. This forms the basis of concern for the consumption of these drinks. These herbs have other capabilities when ingested in the proportions found in the drinks. Additionally, most of these herbs are sourced locally and not in their native origin. As such, there is the imminent use of toxic pesticides and chemicals needed to make them grow in the different ecology.
The manufacture of the drink is not responsible for informing you if the herbs used contain toxic substances. Imagine a one acre herb farm, sprayed bi annually with 500 liters of a toxic compound. Let’s assume this plot has 10000 plants on it. This translates to approximately 0.05l per plant. During the manufacturing process, 75% of the contaminated sap is squeezed out. This translates to 0.0375l. Let’s assume, in a month you consume at least 4 cans, this converts to 24 litres in a year which is equivalent to approximately one liter of the toxic chemical that may cause cancer, digestive problems, skin conditions, reduce mental capabilities, increase irritability and even cause internal bleeding.
Still not convinced? Read on. The other effects of these drinks include: cardiac arrest. The amount of caffeine in each drink is not enough to shock an average human into cardiac arrest. However, if the person consuming the drink has an underlying heart condition, he/she is most likely to go into cardiac arrest a few months into consumption of these beverages.
Increased frequency for headaches and migraines. Drinking these beverages may cause one to have caffeine withdrawal symptoms that may trigger severe migraines. This is because one is not expected to drink it throughout the day.
Heightened anxiety. Ever feel paranoid about any movement in your peripheral vision? Well, I have, and it is not a good feeling. It’s like being constantly watched, always having a feeling of impending doom, even when in the safest environment. These drinks target two different genetic variations in the adenosine receptors that are prone to feeling increased anxiety when consuming caffeinated beverages.
Insomnia. This is one of the most obvious effects of the drink. These beverages are meant to keep you awake and stimulated. This becomes a problem when it encroaches into your normal sleep time.
Increases the possibility for contraction of type 2 diabetes. Because of the prodigious content of sugar in the drinks, the insulin cells in the pancreases may wear out and lead to contraction of this deadly chronic condition.
Addiction. Consumption of these drinks makes the user feel a type of “high” that may make them crave it all the time. This is one serious circumstance that may lead to addiction. One may not be able to function properly without consuming these drinks.
Hypertension. Caffeine in the beverage can elevate a person’s blood pressure to dangerous levels. If not controlled, it may lead to ischemic strokes, intra cranial pressure and possibly death.
Niacin overdose [Vitamin B3]. This is one underplayed consequence of the consumption of these beverages. Most people living in the states take vitamin supplements. If by chance you are taking a Vitamin B3 supplement while consuming the drink, you may contract a severe case of Vitamin B3 toxicity.
These discussed effects are just a few of the numerous implications of the beverage on a person’s health. The next time you think of taking a can of these drinks, reflect back to these effects and weigh the risks and outcomes. If the advantages do not match up to the numerous disadvantages, then it is a bad and unhealthy choice.