The dangers of energy drinks

Energy drinks have the potential for giving you more than just energy.

Stopping at convenience stores or markets like Target or Walmart we are inundated with energy drinks at the checkout. Having too much time waiting in line gives an opportunity to check out the tabloids but once the headlines are reviewed, next thing with in eyesight are all the objects stored in this small area where you are being held captive. You may and begin to notice the dry feeling in your mouth and the reduction in your energy. Fortunately, or unfortunately, you notice along with the healthy water and sugar pop, energy drinks! How easy it is to grab a couple of these drinks and add some moisture to your mouth and some quick energy to your step. It may be a better idea to play a ‘name the energy drink’ game with your children to see how many logos they can recognize in the energy drink world. I’m almost sure the majority of kids could get 100 percent in this game. Too bad it’s not a class in school.

As fun as this game would be, energy drinks are not as fun for many that decide to drink them on regular basis. Energy drinks are drinks infused with stimulants other than caffeine such as, guarana and ginseng to name a few. An article written at Brown University’s student health center mentions the amount of caffeine in these drinks can range from 75 milligrams to 200 milligrams per serving. Compare that to a Coke with 34 milligrams and 55 milligrams in a regular Mountain Dew.

It’s interesting to note from the Brown article; claims made from energy drinks will say, ‘caffeine free’ but what they are really saying is they use other stimulants such as guarana and ginseng so they are not really caffeine free. If these companies claim, “no energy crash” this means, there is no sugar crash because there are artificial sweeteners in the drink. Interesting, the way companies can change verbiage to mean one thing to consumers but mean a completely different thing in reality.

Energy drinks can become deadly when mixing energy drinks with alcohol. This mixture masks the effects of intoxication which may contribute to a greater amount of consumption of these drinks together. Michigan State University Extension feels mixing caffeine, a stimulant with alcohol, a depressant causes the individual to believe they are much more sober than they actually are. College students that mix or drink premade alcohol and energy drinks are much more likely to drive when intoxicated, be on either side of a sexual assault and require medical treatment according to an article from California State University Chico’s student health center.

Even without the consumption of alcohol with energy drinks, they are quite frightening for anyone that may have heart issues including heart disease and high blood pressure. The amount of caffeine or caffeine like substances in these drinks could cause the heart to go in to irregular rhythms proving to be deadly.

Energy drinks may be a drink of choice if a person does not have any heart issues and does not mix it with alcohol or other drugs or is drunk on occasion. With there being so many healthier options to hydrate people and get a quick boost of energy, why choose an energy drink?

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