Pros and Cons of Energy Drinks

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Have you ever been so tired and grabbed an energy drink to get you through the day? Although energy drinks are convenient and will give you the burst of energy you need, you might want to think about choosing an alternative.

The two key ingredients in energy drinks are sugar and caffeine. There are many studies that show how bad energy drinks can be for your body, including one done by the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Energy drinks aren’t all bad, but there are many pros, as well as many cons. A few pros of consuming energy drinks are mood and attitude improvement, a better workout performance, a zero calories option, and the obvious energy boost. A few cons are they can become addictive, may cause health issues, weight gain, and sugar highs.

Pros of energy drinks include the following:

Mood/Attitude Improvement
Energy drinks can actually improve your cognitive functions. Once you get the energy boost from the drink it eliminates the groggy mood. These drinks give you high energy since they have large amounts of caffeine. This will reduce mental fatigue, which improves your mood.

Workout Performance
“I use energy drinks for my workouts because when I have an energy drink before my workouts I have a much better performance,” said sophomore Rebbeca Williams. When you get the right amount of caffeine from an energy drink, it may improve your endurance. This endurance will help while you’re running, weightlifting, and also with muscle strength.

One new energy drink that is on the rise is Celsius. Celsius is a pre-workout supplement drink. All the ingredients work together to raise your metabolism and keep you energized throughout the workout.

Zero Calorie Option
If you are looking for a healthier option for an energy drink, there are a few zero calorie options out there. These options are usually organic and have less sugar. Runa is a healthy zero calorie option, along with Hi Ball and Zevia.

Energy Boost
Since most energy drinks are high in caffeine, they provide a short-lived boost of energy. This energy boost can get you through a study session, a workout, or a day where you are running low on sleep. When you are energized, it is much easier to complete your task which is why many love the boost from an energy drink.

Here are some cons of energy drinks:

They’re Addictive
The addiction to an energy drink is the ongoing desire to have an energy drink despite the negative effects. It is more likely for teens who have an addiction to energy drinks to also abuse other substances according to research done by the US National Library of Medicine. This could lead to other substance abuse for teens. That is why it is so important to limit your intake of these drinks.

There are a few signs of addiction: strong cravings, uncontrollable intake of energy drinks, and a mental image of the drink (picturing yourself drinking the drink). If you find yourself becoming addicted to the drink and you want to abstain from it, you will most likely experience withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms can range anywhere from headaches and fatigue to irritability and a depressed mood.

An addiction to an energy drink may not even seem comparable to a drug or food addiction, but there are many similar symptoms between the three. An addiction to these drinks can have very negative effects on your health if not taken care of.

Health Issues
There are quite a few health issues that can pop up with energy drinks, the biggest one being cardiovascular problems. It is very important to keep in mind when drinking energy drinks that they could have a detrimental effect on your health. The Journal of the American Heart Association says that “it could be playing some nasty tricks on your heart.” These heart issues are very serious and could lead to death if you drink too much.

How much is too much? Drinking just 32 ounces of an energy drink in a short amount of time can mess up your heart rhythm and increase your blood pressure. In addition, the consumption of these drinks can also cause cardiomyopathy, a condition that makes it hard for the heart to deliver blood to the body. Cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure.

Not all of the health problems from these drinks are in the heart, some are in the mind. Besides addiction, energy drinks can also cause problems in the central nervous system. Since energy drinks have loads of caffeine, it is no wonder they can start problems in the central nervous system. Energy drinks may even cause anxiety and sleep disorders.

Many doctors say that if it is possible, find a better option than these drinks because the risk is not worth the price you may have to pay.

Weight Gain

Another health issue these drinks can cause is weight gain. These drinks can be helpful when you are using them for a workout, but they can have the opposite effect if you are inactive. Most of the time, energy drinks are high in calories and sugar. These two together can lead to unwanted weight gain if you are not careful with the amount you are drinking.

Sugar Highs
This is not the sugar high you would get as a kid from eating one too many pieces of candy. For most energy drinks, just one can contain 25 grams to 39 grams of sugar. Excessive amounts of the drinks can lead to a sugar high. The sugar high can cause jitters, sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, and dental problems.

Overall, while there are a few pros to energy drinks, the price you may have to pay for drinking them may outweigh them. Considering these cons, you may want to limit the number of energy drinks and keep them for a day when you are feeling particularly tired or have a hard workout to do.