Medical advice: Hazards of Health Drinks

 While the products are often promoted as relatively harmless drinks, in reality, energy drinks can be quite harmful when consumed regularly. Studies have shown that consumption of energy drinks over an extended period of time can result in problems such as elevated blood pressure, increased anxiety levels, insomnia and heart palpitations.


The health issues caused by abuse of these drinks are due to the ingredients that go into most of the energy drinks available in the market. Many energy drinks contain nutritional supplements such as Gingko Biloba, which is supposed to enhance memory, Taurine, a natural amino acid that regulates heart-beats and the Guarana seed, a natural stimulant. However, most energy drinks also contain extremely high levels of caffeine. On average, a 250ml can of an energy booster contains at least 80 to 100 mg of caffeine which is well above the legal amount of caffeine permitted in a soft drink can. Studies have shown some brands of energy drinks contain more than 200 mg of caffeine in a single can, which is a massive amount and unfit for regular consumption. Caffeine is not only addictive, it is also a diuretic. When consumed in excessive amounts, it can trigger severe dehydration. This becomes even more of a problem when energy drinks are combined with alcohol, which is the manner in which it is frequently consumed. Energy drinks also often contain excessive amounts of sugar, which is also known to be harmful to the body.


In addition, makers of energy drinks are under no legal obligation to display the source of any natural supplement that might be used in the product. As a result, consumers have no way of knowing whether the herbs and other natural supplements that are used in energy boosters have been contaminated by pesticides, irradiated or contaminated in any other manner. Without further research, it is hard to know what kind of toxins might be present in energy drinks.


Also, while natural Taurine is good for the body, the synthetic version, which is what is used in energy drinks, has been known to cause illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes. It has many other ill effects to health. The excessive sugar in energy drinks for instance, can lead to weight gain. The problems can be exacerbated when energy drinks are mixed with alcohol. Energy drinks have a way of masking the effects of alcohol and may lead to heavier drinking and higher exposure to alcohol related injuries and health problems. 

The health issues raised by energy drinks are not always life-threatening but they should not be overlooked either. Until further research becomes available, consumers should be wary of energy drinks according to doctors and researchers.   

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