Most Americans have been exposed to the market of energy drinks one way or another: through friends, family, or by personal intake. The effects can be pleasing: less feeling of lethargy, greater awareness and consciousness, and a sense of increasing productivity. What is not exposed to the public often enough are the dangerous facts that keep getting swept under the rug.
These drinks have gained enough popularity to have become a staple of the US teenage population with at least a third of teenagers claiming to have consumed an energy drink at least once, but we all know that most of these teens don’t just have one. The risks are shocking because no one would ever expect a non-alcoholic drink to have such a strong impact on the human body.
A regular cup of coffee contains 80mg of caffeine. The maximum amount of consumption deemed as safe for adults is between 200 and 300mg of caffeine per day. Many teens drink several cans per day with each holding 160-300mg of caffeine. That’s how cases of caffeine intoxication come about, causing symptoms such as heart irregularities, increased anxiety, blood pressure, and nervousness. Who wants to feel like that on a regular basis?
With that being said, there’s a new trend at bars and nightclubs that has me absolutely dumbfounded. Apparently it’s become a great idea to drink a mix of alcohol (which is categorized as a depressant in the way that it slows down heart activity) together with energy drinks (appropriately categorized as stimulants due to their increasing heart activity). You might as well sign yourself up for the lottery of cardiovascular disease.
Along with possible caffeine intoxication and cardiovascular disease, another problem is developing a dependency. After the energy effects crash from the first can, there’s just another one right behind it ready to chase it down. This makes it possible to experience side effects like tingling or numbness of the limbs, rapid heartbeat (which can feel a bit frightening if you don’t know what’s going on), and sudden heating or flushing of the skin from increased blood flow.
Keep in mind that the facts are not meant to sell you fear into immediately rejecting any and all types of liquid supplements of various nutritional categories. The truth is that the problems arise from the reckless and excessive usage of these products. Also, the aforementioned dangers are mostly in accordance with the nighttime party scene or with thrill seekers or people with too much time on their hands. Not everyone goes out to clubs or bars to have a mixed drink. Not everyone wants to find out what happens when they’ve replaced natural human sleep with caffeine. Not everyone abuses energy substances for fun. Being aware of the risks involved, knowing the boundaries of appropriate use, and respecting the limitations are what make energy drinks an acceptable supplement for consumption.
Watch Video:Energy Drink Addiction, Pt 1.