Why Do People Like Energy Drinks?
Today, we will discuss why people like energy drinks, considering the risks and benefits of energy drinks. We will discuss a research study done at UC Berkley which covered a variety of topics related to energy drinks. These topics include the definition of an energy drink, some examples of energy drinks, the benefits, the risks and dangers, and some alternatives.
So, what is an energy drink? An energy drink is a soft drink that contains around 50 to 500 milligrams per serving of caffeine, much like coffee and espresso drinks contain high amounts of caffeine. Moreover, like sodas, energy drinks are very high in sugar. Therefore, some advertise energy juice, which has vitamins, stimulants, and supplements, as an alternative. Companies market these features as good for your body and for your mental and physical performance.
Popular Energy Drinks and Their Contents
What are some of the most popular energy drinks? They include Red Bull, Monster, Full Throttle, Amp, and Rockstar. The packaging on all these drinks portrays very intense extreme graphics. These are meant to cater to a younger audience who seek these kinds of energy-boosting effects. All of the above contain taurine, which is an organic acid and a neurotransmitter inhibitor. It is not scientifically proven by several studies to increase energy by a statistically significant amount.
All of these energy drinks contain around 80 milligrams of caffeine per serving. However, most consumers don’t notice that they’re more than two servings per can and they usually consume the entire container, this amounts to around 160 milligrams of caffeine per intake period which is equivalent to about two cups of coffee in a single sitting.
Furthermore, most of these popular beverages contain lauranna guava, which is a substance that also comes from beans like coffee. However, these beans contain twice the amount of caffeine as a coffee bean. The substance is an effective stimulant at 37.5 milligrams per dose. Red Bull also specifically contains aspartame, an artificial sweetener that can cause hunger cravings via the primary influence pods of the taste buds.
One newly popular beverage is the 5-hour Energy shot. This is a 2-ounce canister of highly concentrated caffeine and other stimulants that purportedly offer assimilatory effects for a full 5 hours with no energy crash as a side effect. This shot contains 207 milligrams of caffeine per serving, which is more than the amount of caffeine found in one of Starbucks’ highly caffeinated beverages. The problem with this beverage is that many people don’t respect consumer reports and instead, they drink a few of these in one sitting, sending their blood caffeine levels through the roof.
Benefits and Risks
Why are energy drinks so popular? Here are some of the reasons why consumers purchase energy drinks as advertised and promoted by the manufacturing companies. They say that energy drinks offer increased energy alertness and diligence. In addition, they are also said to contain supplements, although it is clear that these amounts of vitamins and minerals are negligible compared to what you would receive simply by taking a multivitamin.
The risks and dangers are numerous and threatening. Overconsumption of energy drinks results in elevated blood pressure due to increased beating of the heart caused by caffeine and other stimulants and neurotransmitter blockers consumption can also receive result in sleep disturbances the long half-life of caffeine means that the rate of deterioration of caffeine in the bloodstream is slow and the stimulatory substance remains for a long period of time in the blood even into bedtime.
This can create insomnia, and this lack of sleep can result in exhaustion fatigue and mood disorders, in addition to midday energy crashes, which many people may attempt to remedy with more caffeine and further perpetuate the cycle of sleep disturbances. Some studies have also shown that the elevated levels of caffeine in the bloodstream can lead to pregnancy risks like miscarriages, stillbirth, and lowered birth weight.
In addition, the dangers of energy drinks can also include cardiac arrhythmia, which is the unsteady beating of the heart, and abnormally strong heart palpitations due to the effects of caffeine. In some cases of high consumption of energy drinks, seizures, strokes, mania, depression, disorientation, psychosis, and even sudden death can occur.
Energy Drinks and Alcohol
In addition, the dangers of energy drinks can also include many effects due to alcohol. Caffeine diminishes the awareness of alcohol content in the body by masking the effect of the caffeine on sensory cues normally used to judge the level of intoxication. This can result in a prolonged drinking session, and the subsequent higher levels of alcohol in the body diminishes processing abilities and damages the liver.
Additionally, studies have shown that subjects who consume alcohol and energy drinks together see an increased risk of alcohol dependence compared to those who do not. Moreover, since alcohol and caffeine are both diuretics, causing increased water filtration out of the blood into the urine, there’s an increased risk of dehydration when consuming the two together. This dehydration further decreases the body’s ability to process the alcohol, and Four Loko—an alcoholic energy drink—has been deemed unsafe by the FDA and has been banned as a result.
Alternatives to Energy Drinks
How do energy drinks compare to coffee and tea? Which drink is best for your health? Well, coffee and tea are usually consumed hot, and therefore, they’re slipped slowly. In contrast, since energy drinks are cold and sweet, they’re consumed very quickly and in amounts larger than the recommended serving size. Because of this rapid ingestion, blood levels of caffeine rise sharply and there’s excess stimulation. Home-brewed coffees usually carry around 100 milligrams of caffeine, and tea contains anywhere from 15 milligrams to 70 milligrams. The amount of caffeine in these two hot beverages is significantly lower than the amounts in energy drinks.
Above all, ample sleep mitigates the need for caffeine. Sleep has many other beneficial side effects, like reduced stress, increased heart health, better weight control, and lower risk of diabetes. A proper diet full of vegetables, fruits, and lean protein can also boost your energy by giving you the nutrients your body needs to make you feel more alert and readier for your day. Also, hot coffee or hot tea in moderation can supplement your desire for caffeine.
Feel free to put your opinions in the comment section below. For more topics surrounding beverages, read up on why people drink alcohol.