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Energy drinks are found everywhere – they are growing in popularity and actually been around since 1997. Today their sales are out pacing every other drink on the market and are available at every corner store, gas station and supermarket with more than $9 billion being spent annually on energy drinks. Even children and teens are using these beverages. But are they safe to for adults to consume and are they OK for children to drink? Do they cause health risks?
Many people tend to have an energy drink after their workout, but energy drinks contain caffeine, which makes them a diuretic, and so if a person takes them after a workout they need to be very careful. Energy drinks can actually be dehydrating. One energy drink contains the equivalent of caffeine that one cup of coffee does. For this reason alone, children and teens should never have energy drinks, although there are many other reasons not to allow children and teens these drinks.
Some energy drinks contain as much as 3 servings of caffeine, which is why they give you the energy bolt, but that can be dangerous and increase your blood pressure. There have been studies done where energy drinks are given before a workout and they found elevated blood pressure.
Scientific studies in adults show that caffeine can increase improve concentration, alertness, and enhance one’s mood. When caffeine intake remains at a modest intake (less than 400 milligrams per day) for most adults it will be safe. However, too much caffeine can cause irritability, including restlessness and difficulty sleeping. With massive caffeine an overdose can happen causing reduced blood flow to your heart and cause abnormal heart rhythms.
Many energy drinks also contain sugar, which is ‘real energy,’ because your body is able to use the sugar as fuel. However, keep in mind that excess sugar also means excess calories, which has been shown to cause weight gain.
Energy drinks also include ingredients such as the amino acid taurine, vitamins and ginseng, but they likely don’t impact one’s energy level enough to be noticed, even though manufacturers claim their importance and benefits. One should take caution with: ginseng because it interferes with a number of prescription medicines.
At no time should children or teens use energy drinks and adults should only use in moderation and with a full understanding of what they are.
Energy Drinks Vs. Sports Drinks – Do You Know the Difference?
You will find both energy and sports drinks in the same section of the store, often beside each other. Energy drinks are drinks like Monster or Five Hour Energy and sports drinks are drinks like Gatorade or Powerade. Sports drinks contain water, electrolytes and carbohydrates. They are designed to help to rehydrate athletes and to replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates that are used up d during vigorous activity. There is nothing wrong with sports drinks – they are safe and effective, because they don’t contain stimulants like an energy drink does. Energy drinks used through sports will not provide energy and they do pose a risk or serious medical distress because they mess with your heart.
The Danger of Energy Drinks and Alcohol
On Nov. 17, 2010, the FDA ruled drinks purchased that are ready to drink and that contain both caffeine and alcohol are unsafe. While the ruling meant that premad products containing both were no longer available it hasn’t stopped the practice of combining alcohol with energy drinks.
Surveys have found that as many as 50% of college students regularly drink a combination of energy drinks and alcohol. This practice is very dangerous.
The caffeine in energy drinks may offset the drowsiness alcohol causes and so individual stay awake and drink more which can lead to alcohol poisoning. In addition, because the energy drink makes you feel more alert, you might not realize you are impaired and this could lead to you driving when you should not. Drink responsibly and don’t mix alcohol and energy drinks.
Should You Use Energy Drinks
Energy drinks haven’t been proven safe and because they are a supplement they do not require FDA regulation. This means that the control over the ingredients is very lose and the health effects are not well studied.
The Bottom Line – Should you Use Energy Drinks?
Children and teenagers should never consume an energy drinks. As an adult having an energy drink occasionally, like once a day, means you aren’t likely to experience any harmful effects. But too much caffeine can cause a great deal of health issues and it is strongly recommended that you do not mix energy drinks with alcohol.
Look for simpler choices to increase your energy, such as an HGH supplement like Genf20 Plus, which has many anti aging benefits that can also increase your energy in a healthier manner.