Energy drinks are drinks that contain amino acids, plant extracts and caffeine. They are designed to invigorate the body and activate mental activity. However, their excessive intake, especially in combination with certain components of food or drinks, can cause poisoning or affect sleep, provoke arrhythmia, and even form bad habits, dependence on their intake. Is it worth writing about their harm on labels and how dangerous is taking energy drinks?
Bad habits: taking energy drinks
It is widely believed that bad habits are smoking and drinking alcohol, but in reality this is a much broader concept. One of the bad habits is the intake of energy drinks that stimulate physical performance and mental activity. Often abused by such drinks are people whose work is associated with night shifts, extracurricular work, or frequenters of nightclubs. It is worth knowing that such habits can lead to serious health problems over time. Sleep may be disturbed, up to insomnia, and the heart also suffers, arrhythmia occurs, blood pressure rises, headaches are not uncommon. Many associate this with stress and fatigue, not believing that energy drinks are harmful, but the presence of caffeine, a fairly active psychostimulant, suggests otherwise. The habits of excessive consumption of energy drinks can even threaten with poisoning if the dose of caffeine received with drinks becomes critical.
Composition of energy drinks: caffeine, amino acids and others
Initially, caffeine and sweeteners were added to soda, but over time, the composition of energy drinks changed, and their modern representatives consist of caffeine, sugar, guarana, and amino acids. Sometimes ginseng is added to them. How do certain components affect health?
Caffeine in small doses blocks special receptors — adenosine, which leads to increased endurance, helps to cope with drowsiness and cheer up. The maximum amount of caffeine that is safe for health is about 400 mg.
Guarana extract, a specific South American plant, also contains caffeine, as well as alkaloids, tannins and theophylline. According to research, it is able to improve memory, fights excess weight by activating metabolism and invigorates.
The amino acids taurine and L‑carnitine, in addition to energy drinks, are found in fish and meat products. These amino acids are active participants in metabolism, being included in various biochemical reactions. So, the amino acid taurine is a neurotransmitter, helping to regulate fat metabolism, has an antioxidant effect and a weak diuretic effect. According to scientists, the allowable amount of its consumption per day is the amount of 400 mg. Another amino acid, L‑carnitine, helps oxidize fatty acids, improves focus and concentration, improves kidney function, and is effective in treating dementia.
Ginseng extract has the functions of a stimulant of the nervous system, helps the body adapt to increased physical and mental stress.
It would seem that such a good composition, the substances have a stimulating and tonic effect, if not for one thing. Their combination and excessive consumption of energy drinks leads to mutually reinforcing toxic effects, which can even lead to poisoning in total.
The negative effect of energy drinks: poisoning and overdose
The excessive use of energy drinks, if they are consumed along with regular soda, can lead to poisoning. The effect depends on the potentially negative impact of each of the components. So, the same ginseng, when consumed in excess, leads to the development of diarrhea, dizziness and hypertension, disturbs sleep. It is forbidden to be taken by pregnant women, children, hypertensive patients and people with heart pathologies, arrhythmias. Although guarana is considered safe for health, there are no data on what effects are caused by exceeding its daily intake. As well as there are no comprehensive data on the effect of the amino acid taurine. An excess of L‑carnitine leads to the development of signs of poisoning — nausea with vomiting, convulsions and diarrhea.
An overdose of caffeine is also quite possible, in this condition, arrhythmia, diarrhea, and a sharp increase in pressure occur. If the energy intake has exceeded all possible limits, combined poisoning develops — with severe malaise, nausea, vomiting, cold sweat and diarrhea.
Sleep problems and arrhythmias when combined with other substances
Combinations of energy drinks with other drinks will also be dangerous. In this case, the toxic effect is mutually enhanced, leading to negative consequences for the body. For example, the intake of energy drinks together with the use of coffee significantly disrupts sleep, leading to a disruption in the processes of falling asleep and a deterioration in the quality of night rest. The effect on the heart is also dangerous, often against the background of such a combination of drinks, an arrhythmia is formed, the heart rate can exceed the norm by 50% or more.
The combination of energy drinks with alcohol is dangerous. The thing is that alcohol enhances the toxic effect of caffeine on the body, which, with excessive consumption of energy drinks, increases poisoning and aggravates its manifestations. In addition, alcohol dulls the reaction, attention and concentration, negatively affecting the brain.
Combinations of energy drinks with sports are dangerous. The pulse during training is already increased, sweating is increased, and the intake of energy drinks only enhances these phenomena. Perhaps the development of dehydration and dangerous arrhythmias, up to the formation of heart attacks.
Thus, the intake of energy drinks should be controlled, there are contraindications for them. Thus, energy drinks for children and adolescents are prohibited, and they cannot be consumed by pregnant and lactating women. In addition, people with a sick heart and kidneys, those who suffer from sleep disorders and headaches should refrain from taking them.