Energy drinks have taken the United States by storm. Every day, teens and adults forgo coffee for their choice of energy in a can. Some claim to provide lasting energy for hours, improve your attenuation and stamina or just give you wings. However, despite the quick burst of energy and short-term benefits, there are serious concerns about the long-term effects energy drinks have on the human body.
Energy Drink Market
According to a report published by John Hopkins University, in a recent survey, 51 percent of college students reported consuming at least energy drink in the last month. The survey also reported that a significant portion of these students experienced a caffeine crash and or heart palpitations as a result of consuming energy drinks. The energy drink industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, earning roughly 5 billion dollars a year in the United States alone.
Caffeine is a stimulant, and is the most popular drug used today, used by millions to increase alertness and energy levels. However, when consumed in large quantities, caffeine may cause some serious health issues. Energy drinks provide massive doses of caffeine in each serving. A 12 oz soda contains roughly 35 mg of caffeine per serving, the caffeine content in a 6 oz. cup of coffee ranges from 100 to 150 mg; a single serving of energy drink can contain up to 500 mg of caffeine. Caffeine addiction and intoxication is a clinically recognized condition that manifests itself through nervousness, restlessness, rapid and irregular heart beat, insomnia and even death.
Consumption of energy drinks have also been linked to increased risk of heart disease. In addition to caffeine, energy drinks may also contain large quantities of sugar, salt and an amino acid known as taurine. Taurine and caffeine cause increases in heart rate and blood pressure. While people with healthy hearts may be able to process a small amount of energy drink with out incident; energy drinks may be very dangerous to those with heart disease or pre-existing heart conditions.
Energy drinks may also cause long term health issues such as seizures. Energy drinks may contain stimulants such as ginseng and guarana, neither regulated by the food and drug administration. Neurological researchers at the Barrow Neurological suggest that large quantities of energy drink, ingested over extended periods of time, may increase your risk of seizure or other neurological conditions.