Life is busy, and there is so much work and play to fit into a day. Sometimes the only way to survive and push through the exhaustion is with an energy drink. With an instant sense of re-boost, we feel more capable of getting through the hours. It has quickly become the go-to for athletes, adolescents, and office workers, replacing the flat white at the coffee counter.
The problem? Energy drinks are bad for you. It is not just that they are full of sugar but equally rammed with caffeine. There are additives that your body isn’t going to love and will cause some short- and long-term problems. Such is the concern over a trend towards energy drinks that the Government has banned their sale to children.
Here we explore why you will want to give energy drinks a miss.
Excess Caffeine Damages Heart Health
Caffeine is an essential ingredient of most energy drinks. In a standard 250ml can, there is often between 80 and 300 milligrams of caffeine, and 80mg is the amount of caffeine we would expect in a standard cup of coffee. The higher total smashes the recommended daily intake in just one can. As most people will drink three or four cans of energy drink a day, the excess of caffeine is now significantly concerning.
The consequence of excessive caffeine intake on heart health is concerning. Drink this amount, and you could experience heart palpitations, irregular heart rhythms, and an increase in your blood pressure. You will likely swear excessively and feel nauseous. These represent an unhealthy event for your heart and can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease if it happens too often.
Causes Dehydration And Leads To Kidney Stones
The science linking energy drinks to kidney stones is still in development. However, kidney stones result from prolonged dehydration and caffeine-based drinks are diuretics and cause us to urinate excessively. This is a significant concern for athletes, as the higher levels of protein in their diet offer another risk factor for kidney stone development.
Can Lead To Obesity And Other Weight-Related Illnesses
A single can of energy drink can contain half your entire day’s allocation of sugar. These are wasted calories and can lead to significant weight gain in many respects. While there are sugar-free versions, there are concerns about chemicals replacing sugar and their connection to other illnesses.
Flooding your body with sugar sends your sugar regulation out of control. You will experience a sugar spike; hence, you are filled with energy; however, you are also likely to feel hungry, increasing your chances of obesity. It can also lead to insulin resistance, so diabetes becomes a genuine risk. High sugar and obesity are two huge risk factors for this condition.
Links To Bowel Cancer
There have been many studies into the link between sugary drinks and colorectal cancer. In women who drink two or more sugary drinks a week, the chances of cancer double compared with those with a below-average consumption of sugar. The mix of high calorie and high sugar increases susceptibility to cancer, impacting our lives.
Anyone who wakes with a thought of coffee in the morning is aware of the dependency created by caffeine. Our body begins to crave it, and we feel sluggish if we do not get our morning drink. If the average caffeine hit in an energy drink is between 3 and 4 times the average cup of coffee, then the dependency will be that much higher.
A habit of energy drink consumption has increased stress, anxiety, and depression. While our lifestyle might lead us to need energy drinks, and it is this lifestyle that is the problem, the energy drinks may be exaggerating the problems rather than helping you.
Telling someone not to drink something, even if it is bad for them, makes drinking that can of sugar and caffeine that much more appealing. We often hate being told no. Consequently, when summarising here, we mention moderation and not abstinence. As with everything in life, keeping the amount you drink low and for those moments of real need is a sensible approach.
If you feel drinking these energy mixes is required to get through the day and is clearly an unfortunate habit, you might want to reduce your intake and, in so doing, improve your health. It might be a good idea to seek support from your GP to help you remove energy drinks from your diet.