Energy drinks are commercially manufactured beverages that contain a blend of amino acids, vitamins and the most widely consumed stimulant drug caffeine. Other varieties of energy drinks may also contain ginseng root extract or the caffeine-rich guarana extract, which is a fruit native to South America. Sometimes marketed as sports drinks, these beverages have become widely available that even children can purchase them easily. While no doubt effective in giving instant energy boost, these drinks should be avoided due to their potential ill effects on health.
Read further and discover more about the negative effects of energy drinks and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid this source of hydration to help in your quest to Become Superhuman.
Energy Drinks’ Risks:
Energy drinks are a concoction of ingredients but is mostly caffeine, with brands containing from 80 mg to 150 mg per serving of this stimulant drug. Caffeine is generally not detrimental to health if consumed in moderation by healthy adults. Long known side effects of regular intake are insomnia, disturbed sleep, hyperactivity and anxiety.
Individuals with certain conditions are advised against caffeine ingestion. Those with heart conditions, for instance, have to steer clear of this stimulant drug as it brings about abnormal heart rhythm. Similarly, individuals who are at high risk for stroke must avoid it as it causes hypertension and decreases blood circulation to the brain. Caffeine should not be taken by individuals with epilepsy as it may induce seizures as well. Moreover, psychiatric populations are often told to avoid caffeine consumption as it can cause mania and manic-depressive relapse. This stimulant drug intensifies gastric acid secretion as well and so those who suffer from peptic ulcers must steer clear of caffeine.
Aside from the significant caffeine content, energy drinks are notoriously loaded with sugar as well, with some brands containing as much as 8 teaspoons per serving. Consumption of such high sugar content can hamper weight loss, cause dental problems, obesity and diabetes, to name a few. Meanwhile, brands marketed as “no crash” energy drinks simply means it won’t cause sugar spikes since alternative sweeteners like sucralose, acesulfame or aspartame are utilized instead of sugar. These sugar substitutes bring about gastrointestinal distress and headaches and is associated with cancer.
Energy drinks are popularly mixed with alcohol as well. Such a concoction is dangerous as caffeine masks the intoxicating effects of alcohol. Alcohol toxicity increases with this combination as well. Since both have a diuretic effect, severe dehydration may occur. When the body becomes dehydrated, the liver’s alcohol-metabolizing function is compromised, thereby making hangovers more severe.
Food dyes are a common ingredient in energy drinks as well. These coloring agents are considered food grade. However, this does not mean that they are safe. In fact, a variety of food dyes have already been banned in a number of European countries but are still being used by the food manufacturing industry in the United States. Several studies have linked food dyes to hyperactive behavior in children, asthma and other allergies, insomnia, thyroid tumors, chromosomal damage and cancer.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of flavored waters and why you should avoid them to help in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of drinks to avoid as well as consume regularly and moderately on the Superhuman Food Pyramid:
- Non-Caffeinated Teas
- Coconut Milk
- Raw, Grass-Fed Cow or Goat’s Milk
- Sports Drinks
- Smoothies (With Natural Ingredients)
- Arabica Coffee Regular and Decaf
- Caffeinated Tea (includes Green Tea)
- Anti-Oxidant Drinks or Powders
- Rice Milk
- Almond Milk
- Red Wine
- Energy Drinks
- Flavored Waters
- Soy Milk
- Regular Cow’s Milk
- Instant Coffee
- Blended Coffee
- Mixed Drinks
- Hard Alcohol
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the negative effects of energy drinks, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the negative effects of energy drinks.