What do you mean by energy drinks
The common perception of energy drinks is that they are beverages which contain stimulants that help in enhancing the metabolic processes of the body in aiding body hydration and increasing the performance levels of individuals.
The first energy drinks were produced in the 1960’s in Japan that mainly targeted the working class people. Gradually other companies took up the concept of producing energy enhancing drinks which have now attained wide popularity in the global market.
Research has however shown that too much consumption within a short period of time is bound to cause sleepiness and irritability as side affects of energy drinks.
Side affects of energy drinks and its implications
A typical energy drink contains certain vitamins and other components which act as stimulants and boost the body’s energy production at a very short span. The kind of vitamins or minerals that a drink will have might differ from brand to brand but all energy drinks have a common ingredient of sugar and Caffeine.
The other components that make these energy drinks a stimulant and energy booster is acai, carbonated water, caffeine in the form of guarana, ginseng, maltodextrin etc. The percentage of these ingredients depends on the bottle size and the requirements of the body.
In case of a big punch there is considerable increase in the above ingredients in a bottle. Usually used by sports person and athletes, energy drinks have been found to have health implications resulting in side affects of energy drinks.
Many of these energy drinks are made up of high concentrations of carbohydrates. Too much carbohydrate will prevent the proper assimilation of the digested food in to the blood stream and as such after some time the required energy output expected from these drinks will no longer stand viable.
Excess amounts of undigested carbohydrates will also cause gastrointestinal problems specially when taken just before a regime of vigorous activity. Moreover, carbohydrate has two very prominent medical implications in the body.
Firstly, it is one of the reasons for causing diabetes and secondly, it is indirectly the cause of dehydration as carbohydrates considerably slow down the rate of absorption of fluids by the body. This makes it quite hard for the body to rehydrate itself at the end of rigorous physical activity.
Researches have established the fact that too much of energy drinks make the body laxative. The high concentrations of fructose and sugar present in the drink causes the insulin levels in the body to come crashing down as the sugar leaves the bloodstream through urine or sweat.
These energy drinks are good for short term energy burst as they act as a stimulant for our nerve cells and also enhance the metabolic processes to a great extent. But the side affects of energy drinks begin once this sugar and fructose concentrations quickly get used up and the drinker is left out with less energy and fatigue.
These in turn has serious medical implications as sudden loss of energy will cause drop in the insulin level of the body and in turn will lead to dizziness and convulsions. Further regular energy drinks are sure to have an adverse effect on the dental health of the user.
The Texas Medical School has confirmed that the concentration of caffeine in energy drinks is much more than that when consumed in a large cup of coffee. This when mixed with sucrose, taurine, guarana etc has an adverse affect on the health conditions.
Caffeine which is a key component of all energy drinks has a diuretic influence on the body. This leads to the body getting de-energized as soon as the sugar levels drop due to excessive urination. Besides leaving the body dehydrated, caffeine is also known to increase the heart beat and the temperature of the body.
This again results in excessive sweat production and irregular heart beat. The body starts to respond to this situation by being jittery causing the user to lose concentration and focus and this affects the work he is doing. In many cases the individual loses consciousness for a short period of time.
The component also disturbs human sleeping patterns resulting in fatigue and irritation. The coordination between the physical state and the mental state also gets hampered affecting the balance of the body. This is one of the main reasons why pregnant women, children and people with heart diseases are advised against the use of these energy drinks.
Finally, these energy drinks have a long term effect on the individual in getting him addicted to it. While using the drinks to pump up the energy levels once in a while is quite practicable but continuous and regular use is certainly a symptom of addiction.
There exists a misleading concept about energy drinks that these drinks can be used as an alternative source of energy to control one’s diet. Health regulator instructors have clearly advised against the use of these drinks as a diet regulator.
Use of energy drinks with alcohol is another hidden risk associated with these drinks. Besides increasing the heart rates, energy drinks used with booze results in a fluctuating blood pressure and the mental stability of the individual too gets affected.
With medical researchers bringing forth the side affects of energy drinks and consumers getting aware of the health implications associated with them, more and more beverage companies are switching over to production of safe and herbal energy drinks.
Components like Echinacea have been found to boost the energy production of the body while helping in enhancing the immune system. Ginkgo biloba, another herb is known to enhance the memory power while enhancing the body’s insulin content without affecting the kidneys.
Further research is going on to include such beneficial herbs in energy drinks that would not only help in reducing its health implications but also boost the total development of the body.
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