Energy drinks often advertise an increased level of alertness, assistance with workouts and recovery, and an added boost needed during the day. It is important to realize that these claims have not been approved by the Federal Drug and Food Administration and that energy drinks can actually pose health risks. If you drink energy drinks often be sure to discuss brand name and content with your doctor.
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Energy Drinks Contain Taurine
Taurine, a popular ingredient in energy drinks, is an amino acid that supports neurological development and helps regulate the level of water and mineral salts in the blood explains MayoClinic.com. Little is known about the side effects of supplementing with Taurine and it is not recommended to intake more than 3,000 mg a day. Drinking energy drinks throughout the day can easily exceed this limit and put strain on the kidneys as they filter this supplement.
High Caffeine Content
Energy drinks contain a large amount of caffeine that can increase heart rate, which over time can increase the risk stroke and heart disease according to Milwaukee School of Engineering. Over consumption of drinking energy drinks and caffeine can also lead to nervousness, irritability, headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, and has been associated with birth defects in pregnant women. It is important to discuss caffeine intake with your doctor.
Energy drinks have a large amount of sugar that can lead to weight gain. MayoClinic.com explains that this is especially true for people who drink energy drinks, struggle with their weight and don't exercise regularly. The Harvard School of Public Health rated popular drinks and based on their sugar content they caution that energy drinks should be drunk infrequently and sparingly due to over 45 g of sugar per 12 oz. servings.
Energy drinks themselves can be dehydrating, and often people replace drinking water with the drinks. MayoClinic.com states that some studies even suggest that the caffeine and sugar content in energy drinks may increase the risk of dehydration especially if they are being used during exercise. Dehydration can lead to muscle soreness, headaches, nausea and fatigue. It is important to pay attention to side effects, and to drink extra water if energy drink supplements are being used.