While you probably realize that energy drinks aren't the healthiest beverage choices, you probably don't worry about side effects before you drink one, but XS Energy Drink's own website warns that pregnant or lactating women, young children and pets avoid their products and "find another type of beverage that meets their needs." XS Energy Drinks not only have higher levels of some ingredients regularly found in many sodas and energy drinks, they also have some ingredients you might not expect to find at all.
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The XS Energy Drinks website claims that all their beverages, except those labeled caffeine-free, contain 83 mg of caffeine per 8.4-ounce serving. That's 137 percent more caffeine than is contained in a 12-ounce serving of Coca-Cola Classic, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. MedlinePlus.com warns that excessive caffeine intake may lead to insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, nausea, gastrointestinal upset, cardiac arrhythmia, tremors, nervousness and headaches. While most people don't see side effects if they consume less than 500 milligrams of caffeine per day, some people are particularly sensitive to caffeine and should severely limit intake or even eliminated it from their diet.
XS Energy Drinks are sweetened with a combination of sucralose and Ace-K. Sucralose can have a laxative effect, causing bloating, diarrhea and gas.
XS Energy drinks contain panax ginseng, also known as Asian ginseng. According to the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, common ginseng side effects include allergic reactions, headaches, sleep disturbances and gastrointestinal upset.
In addition to Asian ginseng, XS Energy Drinks contain panax quinquefolium, or American Ginseng. The University of Maryland Medical Center warns that American ginseng lowers blood sugar levels and could interfere with diabetes medication. American ginseng may also inhibit the effects of warfarin, a blood thinner, increase the risk of side effects when taking certain types of antidepressants, magnify the effects of antipsychotic medications and the stimulant effects of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medications, and inhibit the pain-relieving effects of morphine.
Children and young adults -- age 19 and under -- are especially susceptible to negative side effects from energy drinks. According to the March 2011 issue of "Pediatrics," energy drink usage may lead to behavioral changes, heart rhythm disturbances and even sudden cardiac death. Excess sugar and calories in energy drinks may also lead to diabetes and obesity. These risks apply to the adult population as well.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- XSBlast: XS Energy Drink FAQ: Why XS is made the way it is
- Center for Science in the Public Interest: Caffeine Content of Food & Drugs
- MedlinePlus.com: Caffeine in the Diet
- Go Ask Alice!: Sucralose (Splenda)
- XSBlast: Cranberry-Grape Blast
- Pediatrics: Health Effects of Energy Drinks on Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults
- NIDA for Teens: Energy Drinks: A Boost in the Wrong Direction?