The phrase energy drinks is commonly heard, and the main function is to be mentally alert and feel a boost of energy. It is the caffeine that helps in staying mentally alert, energy drinks have sugar in the form of glucose and sucrose and it also has B vitamins, inositol, glucuronolactone and taurine. The popularity of energy drinks sold in the market is significantly high and it is favored by American teens and adults after multi vitamins. It is often consumed by men who are between 18 and 34 years of age and teens aged between 12 and 17.
There are two kinds of energy drinks sold one in a container, approximately at 16oz bottle and the other is referred to as energy shots, a small container with a capacity of two to two and a half oz. In a 16 oz bottle the amount of caffeine present is 70 to 240 mg and energy shots have 113 to 200 mg caffeine.
The side effects of energy drinks are caused from caffeine and high sugar content and the adverse effect results in series of health issues such as irritation, fatigue, stomachache, violent behavior, substance abuse, kidney damage and elevated blood pressure.
The energy drink market is a multi-billion dollar industry around the globe and it offers certain health benefits as well. It has riboflavin that helps in treating blood disorders and muscle cramps. Pantothenic acid helps in reducing stress, anxiety, and also fights allergies and skin disorders. Niacin helps in relieving arthritis, vitamin B6 aids in maintaining a healthy nervous system, cardiovascular system and immunity. Vitamin B12 helps in maintaining a robust digestive system and red blood cells.
Caffeine is the main ingredient in energy drink and the safe limit for consumption for adults is 400 mg and this is equivalent to four cups of coffee and two energy shot drinks. It is the combination of caffeine and sugar in energy drinks that makes it dangerous when drank excessively. When sugar is combined with caffeine it results in extremely high levels of energy and stimulates a massive crash of blood sugar and this happens with hours. The blood sugar crash results in fierce increase and decrease of blood sugar and in this case the production of insulin is higher than the needed amount. Individuals now suffer from higher doses of cravings created from blood sugar crash. With increase in cravings and consumption of energy drinks there is a massive imbalance in level of glucose in the blood.
As mentioned it is the sugar that is detrimental to health, energy drinks are loaded with sugar, artificial sweetener and high- fructose corn syrup. The American Heart Association recommends around 36 g of sugar a day for men, and in a regular 500 ml can there is 54 g of sugar which exceeds the needed requirement.
Energy drinks are in great demand, and the people who mostly crave for it are the ones studying for exams and those who have long working hours. It is however important to consider alternative sources that will keep the mind mentally alert and provide energy such as yogurt, oatmeal, avocado, lentils, oranges, quinoa and apples. It does take determination to overcome the habit of drinking energy drinks in more than needed amounts. It is also advised to consult with a medical expert on how much to consume or whether you need to get rid of the addiction. Write down the progress you have made in reducing the number of drinks consumed. Whenever craving strikes think about why you have made the choice to quit and you are keen on living a healthy and productive life. It is easy to get tempted when you spot an energy drink in a store, but try to avoid that particular counter. There are some who might not be aware of the potential dangers of energy drinks, it is hence necessary to promote awareness among close circle of friends and family. It is necessary for parents to check whether kids are addicted to energy drinks and educate them on the side effects.