Why You Should Not Drink Too Much Energy Drinks

Energy Drinks May Cause Health Problems

Concerns over the negative effects of energy drinks have been growing in recent years. Energy drinks can provide a temporary energy rush for the consumers, but they also contain a substantial amount of caffeine, sugar and other ingredients that may harm your health. Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received reports linking deaths to consumption of energy drinks.

woman-drinking-energy drinksThese are the potentially negative effects of energy drinks:

  • Heart problems. Dr. John Higgins, associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, said that caffeine and other compounds in energy drinks can boost heart rate and blood pressure. Caffeine can cause heart cells to release calcium, which may affect heartbeat, leading to arrhythmia. The drinks may also disrupt the normal balance of salts in the body, which has been linked to arrhythmia.
  • Impaired cognition. The excessive levels of caffeine in energy drinks may impair cognition. A small 2010 study found that drinking moderate amounts of caffeine, about 40 mg, improved performance on a test of reaction time, but drinking higher amounts worsened performance on the reaction test.
  • Alcohol injury and dependence. Studies suggest that alcohol and energy drinks can be a bad combination for your health. There is concern that mixing alcohol and energy drinks may keep people awake for a longer period of time, allowing them to consume more alcohol than they ordinarily would. A 2011 study of about 1,100 college students found those who downed energy drinks frequently were about 2.5 times more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence than those who did not consume energy drinks. The link may be due to the practice of mixing alcohol and energy drinks, or drinking caffeine to recover from a hangover, according to the JAMA editorial. It could also be that caffeine’s effects on the brain play a role in addiction, the editorial says.
  • The risk of miscarriage. The FDA has also received one report linking a miscarriage to consumption of energy drink. However, study findings have not been conclusive. A study in 2006 found that pregnant women who consumed more than 200 mg of caffeine per day (from coffee, tea, soda or hot chocolate) were about twice as likely to have a miscarriage compared with those who did not drink caffeine. But a study published in 2008 found no link between caffeine consumption (regardless of the amount) and the risk of miscarriage at 20 weeks of pregnancy. Hence, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises that pregnant women limit caffeine consumption to 200 mg per day.
  • Risk of drug abuse. A study of 1,060 students found that energy drink consumption in the second year of college was associated with an increased risk of prescription drug abuse (use of stimulants or prescription painkillers without a prescription) in the third year of college. Some students might regard energy drinks, like prescription drugs, as safer, more normative, or more socially acceptable than using illicit ‘street’ drugs


Moderation is the key

Despite all the reports linking health problems to energy drinks, researchers believe that more research are needed to determine the amount of energy drinks people need to consume in order to experience the negative effects. The most important thing is to note that using these products in moderation and not consuming more than your body can tolerate are essential to prevent the negative effects.



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