2nd September 2021
Why Energy Drinks Are Damaging to Healthy Living
Labelled as the convenient caffeinated pick-me-up, energy drinks ultimately do what they say on the bottle: boost energy, alertness, and concentration. While people of all ages continue to drink them, health professionals have warned that energy drinks may have more harmful consequences than we realise. The high amounts of caffeine and sugar in energy drinks are known to cause implications. They may seem like a quick fix, but the short-term and long-term effects of drinking them actually outweigh the benefits. We’ve explored why in this article.
There’s a recognised connection between caffeine consumption and mental health. A 2008 study explained how caffeine increases attentiveness by blocking a brain chemical called adenosine, while simultaneously triggering the release of adrenalin (source: National Library of Medicine, 2008). If the caffeine consumed is high enough, these effects will be more intense, resulting in caffeine-induced anxiety. Considering energy drinks contain the same amount of caffeine as two espressos, drinking them can be a health risk without realising.
Increased Sleep Problems
Energy drinks are known for their stimulating and attentiveness-promoting effects. Drinking them late in the afternoon and evening can affect your sleep pattern, especially when consumed for evening workouts. A 2014 study investigating the positive and negative effects of energy drinks on athletes saw that although their performance seemed to improve, there was also an increase in the frequency of insomnia and the level of stimulation in the hours following (source: sciencedaily.com).
Loaded with Extra Sugar
Sugar is the second highest ingredient in energy drinks, with some containing up to 17 spoons of sugar per can. Research has found that consuming any high-sugar beverage can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Due to the amount of sugar and stimulant ingredients in an energy drink, there is concern that these beverages aren’t helping the body at all. Moreover, they could be harmful to those with existing health conditions.
Caffeine withdrawal headaches
The stimulating effect of energy drinks only lasts in your system for around four to six hours, which can encourage you to reach for multiple energy drinks throughout the day. Relieving your dependency on energy drinks can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and mood swings. Since caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks cause blood vessels in the brain to narrow, the sudden change in blood flow from withdrawing can lead to severely painful headaches. These headaches vary in intensity and length as the brain adapts to the new blood flow rhythm. iPRO Hydrate is a caffeine-free hydration drink containing a vegetable-based carbohydrate called maltodextrin that fuels the body in a healthful way.
Dependency on caffeine affects mood
Caffeine is known for its mood-elevating benefits due to its ability to block adenosine, a neuromodulator that controls the signalling of neurotransmitter systems involved in mood and emotion. Caffeine also increases a neurotransmitter called dopamine which is known as the “feel-good” hormone. This mood-enhancing benefit from energy drinks can take a major hit when withdrawing.
Sugar-Free Causes Potential Overeating
Skipping the regular energy drinks ladened with sugar and picking up a sugar-free version might sound like a healthier choice, but it’s not. Drinking sugar-free energy drinks with fake sweeteners like aspartame tricks your body into expecting sugar, which means changing the way your body metabolizes other calories. It leads your body to store more calories as fat and use fewer calories for energy, leaving you feeling hungry all time and eating more than you should.
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