Energy drinks may help us stay awake and give us that extra push to get through the day, but at what cost? How many of us really know what the ingredients are in these drinks? Companies pay advertisers millions of dollars to make their products look appealing while masking the negatives, leaving us misinformed and unaware of any dangers. They claim these drinks will revitalize the body and mind, increasing endurance and concentration. However, what they do not tell us is that these drinks have about 3 times as much caffeine as a regular cup of coffee along with multiple other ingredients that act as stimulants, all of which can weaken one’s cardiovascular system and even lead to a heart attack. That doesn’t sound as appealing though, does it?
Recently, multiple deaths, one of them being a 14 year old girl, have been linked to the energy drink known as Monster. Many people do not know how the over-consumption of such energy drinks can be dangerous to one’s health. People see the commercials that show these drinks giving people ample stamina or even wings to make them “fly.” Without any knowledge of how these drinks could negatively affect one’s health, who wouldn’t be tempted to have these drinks all day long? However, the truth is that these drinks not only have up to 3 times the amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee, but they have other ingredients, such as taurine, ginseng and guarana, which act like caffeine as well. Caffeine releases a neurotransmitter in the body known as norepinephrine, which then releases a hormone into your blood that causes your heart rate to increase and your blood vessels to contract. If too much norepinephrine is released in one period of time the heart can go into overdrive and possibly even lead to a heart attack. Excessive caffeine consumption can also cause other serious side effects over time such as chronic hypertention, thyroid dysfunction, nerve damage, and heart disease. As you can see, having more than one of these energy drinks a day can definitely take a toll on one’s health, which is why this matter should not be taken lightly.
Having one energy drink here and there when undergoing strenuous activities, like studying for finals or working a 12 hour shift, is not the issue at hand. The issue is that people do not understand the severity of excessively drinking these energy drinks day-after-day whenever they feel the need. To make things worse, people can also build a tolerance to caffeine, which would require them to drink more and more as time goes by to get the same effects they once had with just one drink. Trying new methods to stay awake or to get re-energized is one solution to this problem. Taking a 20 minute power nap is one of the best methods to rejuvenate the body as well as the mind. Exercising, or even jogging in place for a few minutes, also gets the blood flowing through your veins to wake your brain and muscles up. Green tea and Kombucha are natural drinks that contain a minimal amount of caffeine compared to the average energy drink and also work as potent antioxidants to eliminate dangerous free radicals from the body. Also, taking a daily multi-vitamin containing B-vitamins, such as B-12 and niacin, will help supply your body with the energy it needs to get you through your day. Lastly, sleeping at least 6 to 8 hours a night will give your body a chance to recuperate and regain enough energy to face a rigorous schedule ahead. Hope these tips help and thanks for reading. This has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.