You’re exhausted, but determined. Until you realize that nothing short of a miracle is going to get you through the work day, afternoon class or hour long workout. AHA! Suddenly a bright idea…reach for the nearest appropriately named drink. Certainly, you would feel much better if you were charged like a bull, amped up or transformed into a weight lifting monster. Or would you?
The energy drink fad has swept the globe and these supercharged beverages are now marketed in at least 140 countries with as much as half of them consumed by teens and young adults. Fortunately for our well being, the growing popularity of energy drinks has caused researchers to flock to the trend and find answers to the multi- billion dollar question- Are energy drinks good or bad for you? Well, the overwhelming consensus is that energy drinks do not offer any benefit to your health. Most energy drinks are infused with large doses of caffeine as well as other additives that contain caffeine, including guarana, kola nut, yerba mate, and cocoa. Consumers may perceive a temporary boost of energy as a major benefit, especially if they are thinking only in the short term. But, in the long term energy drinks can have extremely harmful effects on your health. This is especially true for individuals with preexisting conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or mood disorders. Even people who do not have any known conditions, but regularly consume energy drinks, can experience symptoms like irregular heartbeat, feelings of agitation, tremors, and upset stomach. Research on the health effects of energy drinks is still in the early stages, so it is not entirely known how many drinks one must consume daily to experience these adverse health effects.
After all the less than desirable research results and energy drink naysayers, you may be left wondering how energy drinks are even still on the market! Energy drinks are classified as supplements, not as food. This means that these little cans of magic escape the strict guidelines of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to which other products are held to. This allows energy drink manufacturers to take a more creative approach in order to satisfy consumers craving for a little boost! No matter the opinion on these high energy beverages, it’s safe to say that they should be consumed in moderation or avoided altogether.