Energy drinks are marketed heavily and are easily available in grocery stores. These drinks have become very popular, and are used as energy boosters without much thought to the effects they can cause to one’s body. While these drinks have a positive impact if used in moderation, more often than not these come with various side effects that no one seems to bother about or notice. Such side effects can cause the body a fair degree of harm, if neglected.
Not all energy drinks are made with the same ingredients, and this makes it impossible, or very difficult, to identify which ones are good for you and which are not. However, almost all energy drinks contain a few common ingredients that can cause harm in excess.
Energy Drink Ingredients and their Side Effects
Energy drinks can be bad for you, since they contain a lot of caffeine. This ingredient makes you anxious and may even trigger headaches. Caffeine also causes insomnia, so if you have trouble sleeping, the problem could be caffeinated drinks. There are some energy drinks which have more caffeine than coffee. Some students use caffeine to avoid sleepiness, so that they can keep studying throughout the night. These drinks won’t help you concentrate while studying, so don’t believe the hype created by energy drink manufacturers. These beverages can also make you feel tired and lazy and it becomes difficult to concentrate after consuming an energy boosting drink.
Taurine, Vitamins, and Sugar
Energy drinks contain ingredients such as taurine and creatine. However, these drinks cannot be considered as good source of nutrients, so you should use more natural sources of vitamins and minerals such as fruit juices and milkshakes. Too much of vitamins, especially B vitamins, can also cause sensory nerve problems, and skin lesions. These beverages also contain herbs that may have been grown with pesticides. Moreover, they add toxins to your body, which has to work harder in order to expel them. They also have a lot of sugar to make them taste sweet, which can lead to weight gain issues for the drinkers.
Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba, and Glucuronolactone
Most drinks contain ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and other such ingredients. These can cause headaches, heart problems, and difficulty in sleeping. These are also especially bad if you are taking any prescription medicines. Glucuronolactone seemingly has no side effects as such, but its use is banned in many countries for safety reasons.
L-Carnitine and L-Theanine
These can also be referred to as green tea extract on the ingredients label, and even though they are amino acids, too much of them can cause harm. Nausea, diarrhea, sleeplessness, and headaches along with a feeling of lightheadedness are the common symptoms that excess of these ingredients can cause.
Side Effects of Energy Drinks
Besides these there are other ingredients present in these beverages that can cause harm when consumed in excess, and you have to be very careful as to how and when you consume energy drinks.
Energy drinks have diuretic properties, and as such can leave you feeling dehydrated if consumed excessively.
There are other energy drink side effects that are not so serious as the ones listed above, but if neglected can cause problems as well. The main among these are the excess calories present in energy drinks leading to weight gain.
Dependence on Energy Drinks
Another cause for concern is the fact that these energy drinks can become addictive. Drinking energy drinks in place of water is very harmful as well, and can cause acute dehydration. The ingredients present are harmful to young children and pregnant women, and these drinks should be avoided by them as far as possible.
Mixing Energy Drinks with Alcohol
Another common way of consuming energy drinks is to mix them with alcohol. This is very harmful to the body as they act as stimulants and alcohol is a depressant. Combining these causes adverse effects on the body. It also increases the chances of dehydration.
As can be seen above, the side effects of energy drinks are many, and such drinks should be consumed in moderation. It is also common for people to replace sports drinks with energy drinks, which is a bad practice, as both these are different. To counter the side effects, there is only one watch word. Moderation.