What are the Dangers of Energy Drinks?

Energy drinks suddenly appear to be everywhere we look. Additionally, rather than being marketed alone, they are now being added to existing products. You can currently have energy drinks added to regular juices or other novelty beverages, but you can also have energy drinks added to coffees and even your alcoholic beverage.

With the wide variety of ways to consume energy drinks and their rampant popularity, it may be difficult to believe that they have adverse and even dangerous side effects. Before ordering your next energy drink, think about some of the associated issues.

The Hidden Levels of Caffeine
Most food and beverages are evaluated and regulated by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration. However, many energy drink makers claim that their products are natural dietary supplements. This unique category of product removes the federal government’s purview and creates a loophole in which many of the consumer protections are eliminated. Under this classification, energy drink makers are not required to disclose specific dietary information to the consumer. 16-ounce energy drinks can contain between 150 to almost 300 mg of caffeine. The larger cans have around 500 mg of caffeine! In contrast, your typical soda contains just 35 mg of caffeine.

While this might seem like an effective way to start your day, consuming caffeine at these levels can have some significant issues.

The Risky Effects of Energy Drinks
Instead of just staying awake or more alert, consuming too much caffeine, especially in a short period, can have some pretty drastic effects. These include:

  • Higher Heart Rates
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Restlessness
  • Dehydration
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Heart Palpitations

While experiencing these symptoms just a single time can cause alarm, many energy drink consumers use these products multiple times a day, for several days every week. Over time, these effects can create chronic issues in the body. Routine problems with your sleep are linked with several troubling health conditions, including increased stress, increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and higher rates of obesity.

Stopping The Flow of Energy Drinks
Unfortunately, caffeine is classified as an active drug. The body can develop a routine need to have caffeine, and stopping the consumption of caffeine outright can have complex effects on the body. These symptoms are typical of a drug withdrawal but include headaches, sweating, anxiety, and irritability.

If you are currently drinking energy drinks but think that they may negatively impact your health, you can talk to your doctor to develop a plan that works for you. Many people find that they can stop consuming excess amounts of caffeine by replacing an energy drink with a cup of coffee or a soda instead. It may be helping you live a healthier life!