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Effects of Energy Drinks

Updated on July 29, 2016

Energy Drinks...

      1. An energy drink is a type of beverage containing stimulant drugs, chiefly caffeine, which is marketed as providing mental and physical stimulation.


What names to look for when choosing an energy drink

Of course, before there were energy drinks, the extra pep most people got from a drink was coffee, tea, and soda. Nowadays, though, there is a wide variety of drinks to choose from. Here are the top-ranking energy drinks, according to

  • Red Bull
  • Monster
  • Rockstar
  • NOS
  • AMP Energy and AMP Energy powered with Mountain Dew
  • Full Throttle
  • Xyience Xenergy
  • VPX Redline

How do energy drinks work?

According to Tiffany Tseng, a contributing writer for, with experience in the health care industry working as a Medical Assistant at a fertility clinic, and as an active volunteer at her local hospital, energy drinks are a convenient way of getting a quick boost of energy needed to get us through the last part of the day. This happens with a combination of caffeine, which keeps a person alert, taurine, a type of amino acid which can enhance neurological function, and vitamin B, which can boost muscular, metabolic, nervous, and other bodily functions. Vitamin B also is water-soluble allowing the body to work the drink out of the digestive system quicker.


As for myself, I have never tried energy drinks - coffee and sodas are about as much as I can handle. Too much caffeine can cause my heart to race and make me feel quite uncomfortable. However, I am interested in finding out more about these drinks because I have teenage boys who have shown interest in consuming them. Will these drinks affect them emotionally and physically? If there are any affects, how will they affect them? Can the drinks cause problems? How much is too much? I am interested in getting my questions answered.

How bad are they, really?

Pros and Cons

There are several advantages to consuming these energy drinks. Energy drinks are easy to come by - just walk into any convenient, or grocery store. They can also be bought in various restaurants and on-line. They give an extra boost of energy when needed and the carbs found within the drinks can provide for a better work-out, helping people to push their physical limits. However, as with any quick-fixes, there are downfalls to these products as well.

The ingredients found in the drinks boost energy so much that they tend to mask the issues that come with fatigue. Besides caffeine, energy drinks are packed with carbs in the form of sugars and other additives. Sure, sugars can give a little energy and burn off quickly when working out, but if the drink is downed while being a part of an all-night gaming session, not much of the sugar is burned. Instead, the sugars become stored in the body and overtime become fat, which leads to obesity.

Be sure to treat energy drinks as rare, last-resort, energy boosting options rather than part of your regular daily diet.

Another con to drinking an energy drink is the development of heart problems. If drank in large quantities, such things as irregular heart beats, high blood pressure, and possible heart failure can occur. Also, a person can become irritable, nervous, develop head aches and anxiety. There could be complications with sleeping which can bring down the body's ability to function properly and to fight off illness. The body will find it harder to break down the stuff ingested from too much of the drinks. Of course, as with coffee and sodas, when ingested too much, the energy drinks can cause a person to become dependent on them.

In case of emergency...
In case of emergency...

What the Professionals Have to Say...

Physicians speak out on dangers of energy drinks. The American Academy of Pediatrics has discouraged the use of energy drinks in children and adolescents. Even caffeine can cause neurological and cardiovascular problems, and should be avoided. And for a chilling real-life example of the dangers of such drinks read Dakota Sailor’s story on ESPN (easily found by searching for his name on This high school football star nearly died after drinking two cans of NOS!

watch what your children are consuming
watch what your children are consuming
do you really know the ingredients found in energy drinks?
do you really know the ingredients found in energy drinks?

It's Your Choice

In the long run, whatever choice that is made about drinking the energy drinks, one should be more informed and consider the individual life-style. What do you want from these drinks and can you deal with the affects? To me, it's a no-brainer. I would choose to NOT ingest said drinks, but I am not very active and know my limits when it comes to my heart and health. The choice is up to you.

According to Ms. Tseng, "If you feel like an energy drink is still for you, be sure to utilize these tips when choosing a drink:

  • Try to limit energy drink intake to about 16 ounces, or 500 milliliters per day, according to the Mayo Clinic.
  • Drink plenty of water with an energy drink, as they are not meant to replenish your fluids but to give you a jolt of energy instead.
  • Stay away from energy drinks if you have underlying health conditions, such as pregnancy or cardiovascular problems.
  • Energy drinks are not recommended for young children.
  • Never mix energy drinks with alcohol. Although it is often a popular cocktail concoction, it can place a lot of stress on your body and heart, as you are mixing a stimulant (energy drink) with a depressant (alcohol). Your body will basically be fighting itself to act one way or the other."


some data for you
some data for you

Other Alternatives

According to Lisa Lynn, blogger on, there are at least three alternatives to choose from when energy drinks are out of the question. First, figure out where your fatigue is coming from. Maybe you are really tired because you are not getting enough protein in your diet. A good scale to go by is by consuming 1 gram of protein to 1 lb. of body weight. Sources of protein can be found in egg whites, fish, turkey, chicken, and non-fat cottage cheese. You can also look into buying protein shakes. Look for shakes that are low in sugar, calories, and carbs - you want to boost energy, not weight.

[Lisa Lynn] also recommend[s] that the shake have at least 2000 mg of glutamine already added to it. Glutamine is an awesome brain booster that can help ease depression and keep you alert for hours without the crashes that come with energy drinks.

Ms. Lynn's second alternative is getting enough sleep. A person should plan their daily schedule around the sleep needed, not the other way around. Getting enough sleep increases a person's life-span and makes you feel better on a daily basis. Seven to eight hours of sleep is the recommended amount for the average person. A regular pattern of sleep hours is also helpful so your body knows when it's fully charged.

Her final alternative is drinking at least eight glasses of water every day. If water doesn't have enough taste, add some citrus slices to it for flavor. Water is our life source, and if we don't drink at least the eight ounces, we could become tired and lack focus, not to mention lose the ability to function in other ways.

Water...It's Good Drink!

What do you think?

Have you tried energy drinks? If no, what alternative do you use?

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Summing it all up

Given the variety of energy drinks and the variety of alternatives, there is so much to choose from. Be sure to really do the research and talk to your doctor, or other health professional, about your health and how these drinks can effect you.


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