The Harmful Effects of Energy Drinks

May 15, 2012 Comments Off

Energy drinks are meant to give you a boost of energy. They are mainly targeted at athletes but everybody like sipping energy drinks because it boosts your energy level when you are tired. The secret ingredient in most energy drinks is caffeine.

These days it has become a huge trend for teenagers and children to turn to energy drink, which is why a number of parents are concerned about the effects of energy drinks. Dr. Manny Alvarez, who works as a senior managing health editor at, recently answered a query from a parent who was worried about her 14-year-old son. According to her, her son drinks energy drinks for workouts and she was concerned whether it was harmful.

Dr Manny’s answer to her query made many things clear about energy drinks. First of all, energy drinks are diuretic. Any diuretic drink will increase the excretion of water from the body. That is why it is probably a not good thing, if somebody is drinking an energy drink before a workout. They will become dehydrated easily.

Secondly, Dr Manny stated that an energy drink has the same amount of caffeine per serving as a cup of coffee; however, an energy drink contains two or three servings of caffeine! This is harmful because kids who consume moderate amounts of caffeine before any physical activity might have elevated blood pressure. Dr Robert Tozzi, who is the chief of pediatric cardiology at Hackensack University Medical Center, also added his input about energy drinks. He emphasized that energy drinks do nothing to improve somebody’s performance and are not safe. He states that water is the best fluid to consume along with well-balance diet.

His definition of a well-balanced diet is all the food groups that give you your daily dose of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. He especially emphasized on eating dark and green vegetables for workouts. It is a good source of magnesium; consuming magnesium is good because it helps relax the muscles and reduce muscle spasms and cramping. Tozzi also recommends eating oranges and salted pretzels or simply drinking orange juice if you are in a rush. According to him, oranges help improve the blood flow to the muscles. This is something that no energy drink can do. These are healthier alternatives than energy drinks.

It is true that energy drinks cannot kill you but can lead to a caffeine addiction, which is not healthy for children and teenagers. According to an article published on the Boston Globe’s website, the Food and Drug Administration does not monitor the amount of caffeine in energy drinks. Lastly, it turns out that caffeine in energy drinks is higher than the amount of caffeine in soda. Too much caffeine can cause anxiety and panic problems. It can also cause stomach problems and cardiac arrhythmias.

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