If Your Energy Drink Has These Ingredients, Don’t Drink It

energy drinks, energy drinks and alcohol, energy drink alternatives

Energy Drinks May Come With Some Serious Health Risks

A recent review on energy drinks has found some concerns that, if you or your loved ones drink them, you definitely want to know about.

Consumption of energy drinks has increased over the past several years and is expected to exceed $11 billion in total annual sales by the end of 2017. That adds up to about 16 billion gallons of energy drink liquid consumed by Americans every year.

Researchers agreed that although energy drinks have some enticing short term benefits, these may be outweighed by the long-term health risks.

Such risks include:

  • Mental health problems (anxiety, irritability, stress, etc.)
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Kidney damage
  • Risk seeking behavior
  • Dental health problems

 

Here are some other interesting facts you should know:

  • Emergency room visits involving energy drinks doubled from 10,068 in 2007 to 20,783 in 2011.
  • 42% of ER visits that involve energy drinks also involve other drugs.

 

Energy drinks often contain outrageously high amounts of caffeine paired with dozens of other questionable ingredients. Caffeine toxicity starts to appear when caffeine intake reaches about 400 mg and many popular energy drink brands contain upwards of 344 mg.

Questionable Ingredients

There are several ingredients to be worried about in your energy beverages. Watch out for these worst health-damaging offenders:

Over 200 Mg Caffeine. Most countries recommend consuming no more than 400 mg in a single day or symptoms of caffeine toxicity may appear. Really, you should try to have as little caffeine as possible and have it over the course of several hours rather than all at once.

Sugar. Another reason you get a high from energy drinks is because of their sugar content. A common form of sugar in energy drinks is high fructose corn syrup, which has been linked in multiple studies to weight gain, tooth decay, swelling, type 2 Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and more.

High levels Of Taurine. Taurine is an amino acid that supports brain function. But too much taurine is harmful and can cause dangerously low blood pressure. Another side effect of too much taurine is a negative nitrogen balance, which may affect your metabolic efficiency and put serious strain on your kidneys.

Excessive Amounts Of B Vitamins. Most people see any kind of vitamin in a drink and think: Awesome! Vitamins! But again, too much of a good thing can make it a bad thing. Many energy drinks contain upwards of 200% of the daily value for B vitamins, which can cause skin conditions, gastrointestinal problems, liver toxicity, blurred vision and nerve damage.

Guarana. Doses greater than 250-300 mg have been linked to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, stomach irritation, nausea, tremors, headaches and agitation.

Energy Drinks And Alcohol

One of the more troubling parts of the review was how often people are combining energy drinks and alcohol. Such behavior can lead to increased alcohol consumption, alcohol poisoning and dehydration. It is believed that this is due to energy drinks masking signs of alcohol inebriation, so people continue to drink without being as conscious of how much they’ve consumed.

What This Means For You

Researchers involved in the energy drink consumption review agree that there is enough evidence to suggest that the negative health consequences of drinking energy drinks outweigh any potential short-term benefits.

An energy drink every once in a while may not be a concern. But if you are drinking them regularly you may want to make some changes in your lifestyle – your health is at stake. Luckily there are many excellent alternatives to energy drinks that come without any negative side effects.

Energy Drink Alternatives

Here are some of our favorite alternatives to energy drinks. These can boost your energy and mental acuity while also benefiting your immune system.

Organifi Red Juice

This 11-superfood blend is a mix of antioxidant-rich berries and brain-boosting mushrooms and herbs. With a sweet flavor but only 1 gram of sugar, this effectively dosed formula is made to fight off inflammation, curb cravings and boost mental and physical well being.

Green Juices And Smoothies

Dark green vegetables like spinach, parsley and kale are packed with healthy amounts of B vitamins and other revitalizing nutrients. Using these to make creamy smoothies and juices at home is one of the best ways to improve your diet, increase your energy and boost your immune system. Especially during an afternoon slump, green juice is an effective pick-me-up that won’t end in a crash and will only have positive effects on your health.

Energizing Green Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 4 leaves kale
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 12 ounces coconut water
  • 1 drop mint essential oil

 

Instructions: Process all ingredients through juicer and enjoy!

Wake-Up Green Juice Recipe

Ingredients: 

  • 2-3 kale stalks
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 inch turmeric root
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1/2 green apple

 

Instructions: Process all ingredients through juicer and enjoy!

Dark Chocolate

Keeping some rich dark chocolate in your drawer may be better than the caffeinated energy drinks. Chocolate contains a little natural caffeine and also other compounds that stimulate bioactive compounds in the brain, boosting focus as well as energy.

Organifi Green Juice

With ingredients like matcha green tea, spirulina, moringa, chlorella, ashwagandha, mint, lemon and more, this product is intended to help people feel energized and detoxify their cells. This is the first step to helping people re-train their taste buds and start replacing the sugary processed foods in their diet with real, revitalizing nutrients.

Green Tea

Research published in the Journal of Nutrition Reviews found that the L-theanine in green and black tea helps to mitigate the over-stimulation caused by caffeine alone. So you can still get the energy benefits of caffeine without overdoing it on your immune system.

Conclusion

It’s not always easy to break bad habits, but it is always worth it! Remember, the long-term benefits of making your physical well-being a priority are priceless. Do what it takes to reduce the number of energy drinks in your life and see if it makes a difference in how you feel. Let us know how it goes in the comments below!

 

Journal Reference:

  1. Laila Al-Shaar, Kelsey Vercammen, Chang Lu, Scott Richardson, Martha Tamez, Josiemer Mattei. Health Effects and Public Health Concerns of Energy Drink Consumption in the United States: A Mini-ReviewFrontiers in Public Health, 2017; 5 DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2017.00225
Jenna Barrington
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Jenna Barrington

Jenna Barrington is studying Therapeutic Nutrition and Holistic Medicine and aspires to be a practitioner, teacher and writer. She is passionate about education and helping others take control of their health.

Jenna lives with her husband in Utah and loves writing, cooking, green smoothies, training her dog, Japanese, spending time at the ocean, bungee jumping, walking barefoot in the grass and being with her family.
Jenna Barrington
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