Energy drink dangers are widely discussed, and are already proved by researchers. They warn that an increased consumption of energy drinks affects health in a negative way, especially among younger people. But why?
What are energy drinks?
These non-alcoholic beverages first appeared in Japan during the 1960s, and became popular in Europe and America in the 1980s and 1990s. At least about 30% of adults and 68% of adolescents consume energy drinks, according to statistics.
Energy drinks contain caffeine, vitamins, and, in most cases, other ingredients such as taurine, or guarana. An average drink contains about 215 milligrams of caffeine (it’s equal to about two cups of coffee). Do they really boost energy and increase physical and mental performance, as marketers say? Maybe yes, but…
The newest study
A new study suggests that the popular combination of energy drinks and alcohol may change the brain. In the study, mice were given both, and the effect was similar to the effect of cocaine. Fortunately, on mice, not humans.
Anyway, this combination may lead to changes in the brain’s ability to respond to rewarding substances, and in the human’s behavior, the researchers said. Furthermore, the study suggests there’s a risk of real addiction.
Other energy drink dangers
Here are just some health issues:
- Heart problems. There were at least several serious cases, including heart attacks. The reason is that caffeine and other compounds in energy drinks can boost heart rate and blood pressure, and cause arrhythmia.
- Impaired cognition. There is some evidence that the excessive levels of caffeine impair cognition.
- Miscarriage risk. Study findings have not been conclusive, but scientists and doctors advise pregnant women to limit caffeine intake to 200 mg per day.
Some more threats
Other risks associated with energy drinks are:
- caffeine overdose with such symptoms as high blood pressure, convulsions, nausea and vomiting;
- allergic reactions;
- headaches and migraines;
- increased anxiety;
- bad teeth;
- type 2 diabetes.
In addition, among energy drink dangers is the risk of Niacin (Vitamin B3) overdose. Its levels in most energy drinks cause no harm, but when taking additional supplements containing Niacin, overdosing is quite possible. Symptoms include increased heart rate, dizziness, skin flushing, itching, vomiting, gout, and diarrhea.
Don’t underestimate energy drink dangers!