Getting An Energy Drink Boost

Heather Reese Health Guide
  • Energy drinks are everywhere from the corner store to dorm rooms to nightclubs. They are widely available and consumed by young adults who enjoy the “buzz” they get from the caffeine. And while many kids drink these sugary beverages with abandon, you should be warned that they are not Kool Aid and the side effects are more serious than not being able to fall asleep.

    Energy drinks are filled with caffeine and other legal stimulants and they pack a powerful punch. While they aren’t exactly dangerous, there are some things to consider before gulping them down. These drinks can contain as much as 80 milligrams of caffeine, which is equivalent to a cup of coffee and more than twice the amount in the previously regarded caffeine powerhouse Mountain Dew. These drinks may also contain ephedrine, ginseng and guarana and can increase your heart rate, blood pressure and lead to heart palpitations.
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    Because caffeine is a diuretic, energy drinks should not be consumed while exercising. Loss of fluid from sweat combined with the diuretic effect of the caffeine can lead to severe dehydration. In fact, these drinks don’t quench thirst or replace the body’s fluids.

    These drinks are also popular mixers at clubs and bars, but the combination of caffeine and alcohol can be dangerous to the heart. And the stimulant effect of the caffeine can mask the effects of alcohol preventing young adults from realizing the extent of their intoxication.

    And while manufacturers advertise energy drinks as a legal alternative to alcohol, caffeine is still a drug and should be consumed with caution. Kids can get addicted to the unhealthy jolt and crash cycle created by these energy drinks. And recent studies report that more and more kids are getting sick from over consumption of caffeine.

    These drinks are also high in sugar and calories and high consumption can mean hundreds of empty calories and possibly weight gain. As with any food item, moderation is the key.

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Published On: November 08, 2006