Consumer News

Top Reasons To Ditch Energy Drinks

In the recent years, two teenage boys died after consuming energy drinks and throwing up in a worrying manner. The popularity of energy drinks is evidenced by skyrocketing sales that grew by a whopping 5000 percent from 1994 to 2014.

The most frequent drinkers fall in the age group between 18 to 38 years old, but the younger demographic is no different. One-third of teenagers are also hooked on energy drinks. The reason being that manufacturers advertise energy drinks to the youth, especifically teenagers, at various sporting events, social media and TV channels. To prevent them from suffering the side effects of such drinks, lawmakers in California and Connecticut have proposed bills to prohibit the sale of energy drinks to teenagers, but nothing has materialized so far.  

The many other reasons energy drinks are a cause for concern according to WedMD are the following: 

1. Hampers Growth in Children: The youth are vulnerable to the messages put out by advertisers since caffeine affects the growth and development of the body. Holly J. Benjamin, a professor at the University of Chicago, warns of caffeine negatively affecting the body from head to toe. The child’s brain development, heart, muscles and bone development are at risk if energy drinks are consumed in excess. 

2. Worse When Mixed With Alcohol: Cocktails use energy drinks as one of the main ingredients to provide a heady concoction. When the two kinds of drinks are mixed, people are more likely to indulge in drunk driving and unprotected sex. Alcohol has depressive effects on the brain and energy drinks can activate these feelings.

3.  High Sugar Content: Energy drinks have around 7 to 14 teaspoons of sugar. Heavy sugar consumption through energy drinks has been linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Due to the high sugar content, it can also cause tooth erosion in young people. 

4. Heart Trouble: Robert Segal, the founder of Manhattan Cardiology, said that an 8 ounce cup of energy drink could contain 100 mg to 350 mg of caffeine. Segal warned that caffeine in large amounts compromises the dilation capacity of blood vessels. Blood vessels become constricted and narrow as a result. When that happens, heart attacks and strokes become inevitable since blood cannot pass through. 

5. FDA Has Not Approved All Ingredients: There is no research that has been conducted by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) per se to verify all the ingredients used in making energy drinks, and the anecdotal evidence could be misleading. Herbal supplements like ginseng, guarana, and taurine have not been regulated by the FDA, hence it is advised to not believe in their alleged positive effects. 

Energy drinks Consuming energy drinks frequently can lead to heart trouble, obesity and diabetes. Photo courtesy of Simon Desmarais, CC BY-SA 2.0