According to a recent study based on energy drink intake, there is enough reason to become concerned about the complications of this beverage.
It has been estimated that consuming 32 ounces of an energy drink can spark erratic changes in terms of blood pressure and even heart function, leading to potentially dangerous circumstances.; and these aren’t the types of problems a person should be facing if they are just consuming caffeine.
What are the Effects of Energy Drinks, and Why are They Dangerous?
As it stands, people can choose from more than 500 different energy drink brands, and the growth in popularity can be seen by the increase of health complications and deaths coming through emergency room doors.
Still, manufacturers and those who support their brand maintain the product is safe, and they still compare it to caffeine. Unfortunately, they don’t have the scientific evidence to give their claims any substance.
According to the FDA, a person can safely consume about 400mg of caffeine.
This amounts to about five cups of coffee. As for energy drinks, they do contain caffeine, but it’s one of many other ingredients that haven’t been tested thoroughly. At least, this is the conclusion researchers published in The Journal of the American Heart Association.
In order to properly test these ingredients, eighteen healthy men and women were used for the study.
First, they were given an energy drink that can easily be bought from a supermarket, and then they were given a concoction that contained the same amount of caffeine, but none of the other ingredients.
The contents of the energy drink include 320mg of caffeine (four cups of coffee), four ounces of sugar, an array of B vitamins, in addition to a proprietary blend consisting of taurine along with several ingredients found in most popular brands.
These brands include Red Bull and Monster Energy – this is clear to see in any energy drinks report.
The person in charge of the study was Sachin A. Shah, hailing from David Grant Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base, in addition to the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. He and his team monitored physical changes in the bodies of the participants, especially blood pressure and heart activity via an ECG.
The results showed that after consuming the energy drink, dangerous irregularities occurred in terms of heart activity, while the other caffeine drink didn’t cause any distress.
In fact, several drugs have been made unavailable based on the same results from an ECG.
The increase in blood pressure came very close to five points due to the energy drink, whereas the caffeine alternative closely reached one point. It’s also worth noting that the increased blood pressure from the energy drink didn’t subside for six hours after consumption.
For people who don’t suffer from health problems, these findings shouldn’t cause too much concern. But for individuals who aren’t in the best shape might want to be a little more cautious.
To be safe, the team concluded more and bigger scale studies need to be done.
Even people from outside the study believe there are health risks involved, such as Dr. Jennifer L. Harris (University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity in Storrs).
She was quoted from her email statement, backing the need to study the proprietary blends and not just trusting what manufacturers say. She points out that nobody has taken the time to test how caffeine and the energy blends work together, not to mention that these ingredients aren’t FDA approved.
She goes on to say how energy drink manufacturers target the youth, especially young boys, which can typically lead to more risky behavior, and which also explains the increase in emergency room visits.
Lastly, she notes that all objective studies focused towards the effects of the above-mentioned combination can help the public to make a more informed decision. And hopefully, it will open their eyes if energy drinks truly are harmful.
Alternatives to Drinking Energy Drinks
If you want to drink a caffeine containing product that won’t negatively impact your health as much, try drinking tea or coffee. You can drink green tea before or after a workout, because the stimulation is enough to improve your performance but it is not too much to cause jitters or other side effects.
Using natural energy drink alternatives is an excellent way to avoid health problems and still receive the benefits of stimulant drinks.