Are Energy Drinks Safe?

by Jodee on October 8, 2010

Energy drinks are being promoted as a safe and easy way to give your energy a boost when you feel sluggish. They are popular with young people who may be putting in long hours at work or school. These products are marketed as a way to increase stamina and improve performance.

Main Ingredients of Energy Drinks

Caffeine is one of the main ingredients of energy drinks. As anyone who enjoys their morning cup of Joe understands, this substance helps to increase alertness. It does so by acting on the nervous system, which increases the speed at which it delivers messages to and from the brain.

Another main ingredient of energy drinks is taurine. This is a naturally-occurring amino acid that helps the body to increase protein and get rid of harmful substances. When someone is stressed or engaging in strenuous exercise, they may lose taurine and may choose to consume energy drinks to replace it.

Glucuronolactone is another substance that is naturally found in the body. It is formed when glucose breaks down. Not only does it help to flush out impurities, but it gives an instant energy boost as well.

Use Caution

It may be tempting to grab an energy drink when you are feeling sluggish or you want to give your energy a boost. Although they contain some ingredients that occur in the body naturally, the energy drink contains them at higher levels a person would have in his or her system.

An energy drink can contain as much caffeine as a strong cup of coffee. Some of the product labels caution against giving them to children, while others don’t contain this warning. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable pouring a youngster a cup of coffee, then you probably shouldn’t allow them to consume energy drinks.

Energy drinks can also contain high levels of sugar; some brands contain 5 teaspoons per serving. The link between sugar, processed foods and heart disease is well known. Some people consume several of these beverages on a daily basis, which can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease.

Do not confuse energy drinks with sports drinks, such as Gatorade. A sports drink contains carbohydrates and electrolytes and can help an athlete rehydrate quickly. An energy drink that contains caffeine act as a diuretic and actually increases the level of dehydration in the body.

Energy drinks are safe if used in moderation and on an occasional basis. If your goal is to feel more alert and increase your performance, a better choice (and healthier) choice is to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and get enough sleep.

Previous post:

Next post: