With the rapid popularity growth of the energy drinks, there is almost no escaping them. Nowadays you can see them everywhere. In supermarkets, fuel stations, your local grocery store on the corner of the block, just everywhere. It’s said that these energy drinks energizes you and give you a short concentration boost. While this may be true, there are also downsides to energy drinks.
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If you’re concerned with your health, you’ve probably heard this a million times from friends and family. “Don’t consume too much sugar and watch out with caffeine”. There is a reason why you’ve heard this a million times and those reasons are well founded. Because consuming too much sugar and caffeine will only harm your body in ways you don’t want.
Energy drinks consist mostly of sugar, caffeine and taurine and some other mumbo jumbo. A can of Red Bull for example, contains 80 mg of caffeine (more than 3x as much caffeine in the same amount of coke) 1000 mg of taurine and about 5 teaspoons of sugar. While these 3 ingredients are common and nothing special, it gets special in energy drinks. Because there is such a high amount of it in energy drinks, it is advisable to be not to drink too much energy drinks.
Let’s break apart the 3 main ingredients and see why you should be careful with them.
While sugar gives people a quick boost of energy and add flavor to your beverages, it also gives you a quick boost in calories. It is a well known fact that excess calories are converted to fat within the body and stored. Small amounts of sugar won’t do much to a human body but when you’re overdoing it, it can have some nasty effects on the body. Effects such as:
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These are just 5 effects of sugar to the body. Nancy Appleton, author of “Lick the Sugar Habit” compiled a list of 146 reasons why sugar is ruining your health. I highly recommend checking out her book and the list of 146 reasons why sugar is ruining your health.
And not to mention, consuming too much sugar will guarantee you a VIP spot at your dentist, as sugar is incredibly bad for your dental health.
While everybody knows sugar is bad for the human body, most people don’t know why caffeine can be bad for the human body. So it’s time to explain why caffeine can be bad.
The caffeine which can be found in energy drinks acts on the brain, stimulating it, inducing him the feeling of energy without limits and getting you rid of the sensation of tiredness body. Yet this false energy that the person feels, has no match practice in calories actually available in your body, and this imbalance can be proven as dangerous, especially in a high intensity sport. In addition to caffeine leads to increased blood pressure, a fast heart rate, excessive urination, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, anxiety, depression, tremors, difficulty sleeping and is not recommended for people with heart problems and hypertension.
Everybody knows about the downsides of sugar, most people know about the downsides of caffeine, but I think there are only a couple of people that know about the downsides of taurine.
To explain what taurine actually is, I’d like to quote Wikipedia, but people are editing it like there is no tomorrow and only people with a PhD understands what’s actually being said. But let’s give it a try anyway. This is quoted form Wikipedia:
Taurine is an organic acid. It is also a major constituent of bile and can be found in lower amounts in the tissues of many animals including humans. Taurine is a derivative of the sulfur-containing (sulfhydryl) amino acid, cysteine. Taurine is the only known naturally occurring sulfonic acid. Source: Wikipedia
Because I don’t have a PhD, I have no clue what this means, but luckily Wikipedia isn’t the only source of information on the Internet. And this is what I found about taurine.
Taurine is an amino acid-like compound and a component of bile acids, which are used to help absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Taurine also helps regulate the heart beat, maintain cell membrane stability, and prevent brain cell over-activity. Source: eVitamins.com
As you might have noticed so far, it’s a bit hard to find reliable information about taurine and that’s probably the most important reason why so few people have an extended knowledge about taurine. By now I hope you know a little bit more about taurine than you did before.
We’re not there yet, we still don’t know why too much taurine can be bad for you. So I dived into the pool called Internet once again to find out why too much taurine is bad for you. As expected, there was barely anything about the effects of too much taurine. The only bit of information I could find was in a research done by George Eby. In his research he’s telling that he’s experiencing two effects of too much taurine, which are diarrhea and excessive nasal and throat mucous development.
Energy drinks and alcohol
With the increasing popularity of energy drinks, mixing energy drinks with alcohol becomes as popular as can be. This too comes with a warning and a huge one. While this is not advisable, most youngsters tend to ignore this. Even on the cans, at least on a Red Bull can, it says you should not mix it with alcoholic beverages. A professor from Monash University in Australia even warned that mixing energy drinks with alcohol could create abnormal heart rhythms, which aside from being deadly, can cause future heart problems. So be careful with mixing energy drinks with alcoholic beverages, as this could result in death.