Are energy drinks dangerous to your health?
In our fast-paced, modern world we are constantly looking for ways to move a little faster, survive on less sleep and accomplish more. Synthetic “boosters” in the form of energy drinks are being consumed in rapidly climbing quantities.
Energy drinks represent the fastest growing soft drink sales in the United States.
Energy drinks, shots and chews contain approximately three times the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee or a glass of soda. There are also many other synthetic stimulants included with the caffeine.
In a study published in the medical journal Pediatrics, researchers recorded 70-80mg of caffeine as a primary ingredient in energy drinks, but additional caffeine was found in other ingredients such as cocoa or kola nut.
Several countries have banned energy drinks or prohibited sales to young people.
A major portion of the energy drink consumer demographic are young people. If you have medical problems – these drinks can rapidly cause a much bigger issue. The dangers are especially high for those with heart conditions or previously diagnosed mood and behavioral disorders. The exorbitant quantity of sugar is very dangerous for those who are diabetic or borderline diabetic.
Energy Drink Dangers
One teenager named Anais Fournier, age fourteen, from Maryland was pronounced brain dead from caffeine toxicity after six days in a coma. Previously diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia, the overdose of caffeine came from 48 ounces of the Monster™ energy drink she drank, which ultimately affected the blood flow from her heart.
The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that young people should never consume more than 100mg of caffeine a day. 480 mg of caffeine are found in a 48-ounce Monster drink!
Her parents are currently suing the makers of Monster™ – stating there are not enough warnings about their high-caffeine beverage. Anais was the fifth death reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that has been linked to Monster™ energy drinks dangers.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported 13,000 emergency room visits connected to energy drinks in 2009.
There have been thirteen deaths – 90 total complaints, 30 of which were life-threatening – linked to 5-Hour Energy™ shots over the past few years. Though the company will not verify the amount of caffeine they add to the concentrated mix, scientists with Consumer Reports estimate as high as 215mg of caffeine per shot.
Reported Complaints Linked to Energy Drink Dangers
• Nutrient loss
• Rapid heart rate
• Agitation and irritability
• High blood pressure
• Seizures or convulsions
• Cardiac arrest
The human body requires between 8-10 cups of water each and every day in order to stay properly hydrated. Not only do these energy drinks not count toward your daily fluid intake, they actually leach your body of essential nutrients.
Doctors agree that energy drink dangers aren’t a healthy choice overall but there are some people who should never drink them as their risk for dangerous side effects is much higher.
Do Not Use Energy Boosters if You Have…
• Any heart problem – or history of heart disease in your family.
• Gastrointestinal problems – including irritable bowel or a history of ulcers.
• Liver problems – especially those with hepatitis or cirrhosis.
• Kidney problems – this is most critical for those patients on dialysis.
• Any form of diabetes – type one or type two – the sugar content is far too high.
• Mood or behavior disorders – energy drink dangers impact your central nervous system.
Young people who are still developing are the primary demographic for manufacturers of energy drinks. These caffeine-heavy drinks alter sleep patterns, which can affect mood and school performance.
Athletes should be cautious before consuming these drinks since caffeine is a diuretic. Those who play sports or regularly workout need even more water daily and excessive amounts of caffeine has the opposite effect, causing severe dehydration, affecting electrolyte levels and fostering heart problems.
The FDA is conducting an investigation, but 5-Hour Energy™ CEO, Manoj Bhargava, had this to say, “The only information that we get about caffeine is from reporters, who really have no clue what caffeine does.” In response to the initial article by the New York Times, he added, “They should not be making this mistake.”
He believes the people who have made the complaints to the FDA are “just after some money.”
Someone certainly is after money…but it doesn’t sound like it’s the people ending up in the hospital after consuming these drinks.
With regular diet, rest and exercise you should have all the energy you need. Energy drink dangers just aren’t worth the short-cut.