Sometimes having that desired energy drink in the morning is the one thing a person needs to get oneself going for the day. Energy drinks have become part of society since the early 1990’s. They started out as a simple drink that could give people a boost of energy with their all natural ingredients and extra kick of caffeine but suddenly turned into a cocktail mixer when one mixed it with a favorite alcoholic beverage.
Every year $3.5 billion are spent annually on energy drink s such as Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster, and Spike. Sweeteners and vitamins are added to some energy drinks to make them more appealing to the consumer, along with the flashy cans with bright colors. The marketers for these products are succeeding as more than eight million adolescents drink energy drinks daily.
While some energy drinks are marketed for elite athletes, they are also marketed towards younger crowds. In the recent years energy drinks have turned from being an energy booster to being a booze mixer. Some energy drinks such as Red Bull is also marketed to be mixed with vodka which has become a very popular drink among young crowds.
There have been many instances with young people dying because of energy drinks and mixing them with alcohol. While mixing some energy drinks with alcohol may taste good, the effects of this could cause a more fatal risk of drinking the energy drinks. A person’s blood alcohol concentration will rise with their energy, but it will dehydrate one faster than one would think. Drinking alcohol alone can cause drowsiness, slow reflexes and also a loss of coordination, however mixing alcohol with energy drinks will enhance these effects.
Many energy drinks do not replenish ones body energy like Gatorade does, however, they actually dehydrate the body even more. Even though one may feel like they have energy, they can be hurting themselves by causing dehydration. As the energy drink wears off, a person can feel the effects of it wearing down. In some extreme cases dehydration can be fatal if one does not replenish their body with the proper nutrients it needs.
Doctors do not recommend that young children or pregnant women consume energy drinks. Even people with hypertension should not drink them because it can raise the systolic blood pressure.
For pregnant women the level of caffeine could cause low-birth rates, or even miscarriage. Too much caffeine can disturb your sleep patterns while also reducing your balance and coordination.
The sugars and vitamins in energy drinks are meant to give the consumer a short term boost of energy. For some people the rush of this energy can be very addicting, making them crave more. The craving comes from the caffeine and sugar high that the drink caused them. Energy drinks are loaded with these two active ingredients. They usually contain more grams of sugar then normal soft drinks. For example, a Red Bull contains 27 grams of sugar per serving of 250 milliliters; a soft drink has about 19 to 27 grams per eight-ounce serving.
Some benefits to energy drinks are that the caffeine in them will increase physical performance. The amino acids are building blocks of protein, and the herbs such as ginseng and guanaua are natural sources of caffeine. Glucose gives the body the fuel it needs, so most energy drinks fill up on the glucose not only as a sweetener but as the product that will create fuel for the body.
For some people it depends on their body and how much caffeine their metabolism can handle. Some people are left feeling jittery and overwhelmed while others feel like the energy was just what they needed to get them through the day. The carbohydrates in the energy drinks help the muscles become more active while preventing one from becoming fatigue when they need to be alert.
Health officials say that for now energy drinks are safe for consumption; however the consumption should be monitored. They are designed to increase physical performance and stamina but they do have a ‘crash effect.’
All energy drinks include Caffeine, Taurine, and Glucuronolactone, which play a vital role in making the human body work properly.
Caffeine is a stimulant that works with the central nervous system sending messages to the brain so the person feels more aware.
Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid in the body that helps build protein, and glucuronalactone is a natural metabolite and carbohydrate formed when glucose breaks down.
Caitlin McNamee is a fifth-year student majoring in Professional Studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at CM645986@wcupa.edu.