Energy drinks are those kinds of drinks that provide physical and mental stimulation because of the presence of caffeine in it. These drinks are sometimes carbonated and may or may not contain sugar and other sweet substitutes. The most famous energy drinks are Red Bull, Monster, Cobra, Full Throttle, NOS etc. Following are some of the pros and cons of consuming energy drinks:
Almost all energy drinks contain caffeine as the main ingredient. The quantity of caffeine differs from product to product.
For instance, the Monster energy drink consists of 160mg of caffeine in a 16oz sized drink. NOS, another popular drink, consists of the same amount of caffeine. However, is NOS energy drink bad for you? Lawyers at Schmidt and Clark have been looking at FDA investigations linking popular drinks like NOS to serious and in fact sometimes fatal side effects like strokes, seizures, heart attacks and severe allergic reactions. In fact, the drink was dangerous enough to send a consumer who consumed 2 cans to the hospital due to seizures. NOS was finally recalled from the market. You will be able to find details of the lawsuit and more on this page.
The question arises, is caffeine any good at all? Caffeine in moderation helps stimulate brain function and helps increase concentration and alertness. Caffeine consumption also helps regulate mental functions better and increase short term memory in the human body.
Energy drinks may affect the quality of sleep. Considering that the main aim of such drinks is to give you a boost of energy, the presence of caffeine and sugars give you that extra dose of energy while driving away sleep. This can lead to sleep deprivation which if regular can cause long term sleep disorders and subsequent issues related to overall health. However, on the other hand, the fact that these drinks can help you stay alert especially while driving long distances or while working on a night shift is something that cannot be ignored. This is particularly useful in cases of work where people have to pull in some necessary extra hours for some emergency work. It also helps people like watchmen and guards who need to stay awake and alert for long durations of time. Thus, alertness and tirelessness are a good advantage of consuming energy drinks.
A wide range of studies have shown that energy drinks have caused heart problems in users, some of which even ended up in the emergency rooms. Excessive caffeine and sugar could lead to high blood pressure and blood rate which could be bad for the overall health of the heart. On the other hand, in case of low Blood Pressure conditions, energy drinks could help in bringing the pressure back to normal.
Some energy drinks are loaded with sugar, and this could cause diabetes especially if the consumer already has difficulty controlling the blood sugar in the body. For instance, a 250ml can of Red Bull contains about 7 teaspoons of sugar! Consumers have been noted to have an increased vulnerability to Type 2 Diabetes after the regular consumption of energy drinks. But in case of extreme tiredness, energy drinks help stimulate the production of sugars in your body that can help you by giving you the needed energy boost.
A very serious problem that has been coming up of late has been the mixing of alcohol and energy drinks. People who consume a mix of the two have ended up consuming more quantities of alcohol on a daily basis. Subsequently, they are more likely to drink and drive and become a nuisance both to themselves and others. Apart from this, some consumers have reported heart palpitations and, in some cases, even death. On the pro side, Caffeine present in the energy drink overrides the depressive effects of alcohol. This in turn helps you feel less intoxicated while still experiencing the impairments caused due to consuming alcohol.
Thus, energy drinks may be helpful while at the same time involving side effects. It is wise to consume energy drinks only when absolutely required and that too in moderation.