We’re obsessed with energy drinks. As a country, we’ve become as addicted to them as to Frappuccinos from Starbucks. They’re packaged in cool-looking cans and claim to give you a needed boost when that mid-afternoon slump sets in, or when you’ve partied too hard on a Tuesday night, and you’re trying to function at work or school on only two hours of sleep.
But, energy drinks have recently come under scrutiny – for good reason. Current lawsuits claim the manufacturers engaged in misleading advertising, attempting to woo consumers with claims that these drinks will not only boost energy, but also increase concentration, increase immunity, and improve your overall health. Energy drink companies say their claims are backed up by medical findings, but it turns out that there is little evidence to support them.
Despite all the negativity surrounding energy drinks, they are as popular as ever. Why? You can get them just about everywhere; they’re generally less expensive than fancy coffee drinks, and they can be as addictive as regular soft drinks. Instead of reaching for that can of Coke or Pepsi, many people would rather consume an energy drink simply because people they look up to people who drink them. Energy drink companies market at the coolest sporting events, they use famous athletes as spokespeople, and they sponsor video game events.
The reality is, energy drinks can be very bad for you. Here are five reasons you should say “no” to energy drinks. You’ll be glad you did:
Experiencing severe side effects from energy drink consumption?
5. Caffeine Overload Can Cause Stress and Anxiety
If you consume two energy drinks per day, you’re ingesting about the same amount of caffeine found in 12 cans of regular soda. That much caffeine could make you jittery and anxious, and contribute to chronic stress. It’s bad enough that we stress about so many things in everyday life – you don’t want your beverages to add to that! Some energy drinks contain more caffeine than is listed on their labels, because it comes from other added ingredients like guarana, which makes them even more dangerous.
4. Energy Drinks Are Loaded With Sugar
Some energy drinks are known to contain about 13 teaspoons of sugar per can! Instead of getting the energy boost you crave, that much sugar can make you crash and feel even worse than you did before you drank the beverage. Aside from the nasty crash, that much sugar can do terrible things to your body. It can leave you dehydrated, suppress your immune system, cause tooth decay, and make you gain weight. Consuming too much sugar can also cause inflammation and type 2 diabetes, which can lead to other serious health problems.
3. Energy Drinks Affect Your Mood
If you consume energy drinks regularly, you might want to rethink your beverage choices. Studies have shown that people who frequently ingest large amounts of caffeine have been known to have reduced serotonin levels. Serotonin is known as the “feel good” neurotransmitter and a depletion of serotonin has been linked to anxiety, depression, and low moods.
2. You Risk Damage to Internal Organs
You might not think too much about how energy drinks affect your internal organs, but you definitely should. Energy drinks signal your brain, liver, digestive system, kidneys and heart to behave as if you’re in a fight or flight situation, which is why many of us experience a crash not long after consuming them. All that caffeine, sugar, plus other stimulants signal your organs to react as if they’re in a dangerous situation, and the body isn’t designed to handle that much stress on a regular basis. Eventually, your internal organs will feel the toll and say “enough,” which is why energy drinks have been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure.
1. Energy Drinks Could Kill You
In the past few years there have been several studies and articles published linking energy drinks to illness and death. Adverse event reports have been submitted to the FDA linking Red Bull and Rockstar to hospitalizations, while Monster and 5-Hour Energy brands have been linked to 5 and 15 deaths, respectively. The evidence keeps mounting in favor of avoiding energy drinks in favor of safe alternatives. Instead of relying on caffeine, sugar and other harmful stimulants, try drinking water, and getting some exercise. Walking into a convenience store to purchase energy drinks doesn’t qualify; it will only make you feel worse, and possibly impact your life in ways that can never be reversed.