Energy drinks were first sold in the United States in 1990. There are now hundreds of options. Related products such as bars, chewing and energy drinks have been produced.
Energy companies target children and adolescents under the age of 18. Students also consume a large number of energy drinks. It is known that several companies offer products to children for free. Some drinks even taste like caramel, so kids love the taste. This makes them more common and attractive. However, energy drinks can cause harmful health problems.
What are energy drinks?
Energy drinks are different from soft drinks and sports drinks. Soft drinks have a lower amount of caffeine. Sports drinks can contain vitamins, carbohydrates and sugar. You need to drink them after a hard workout to restore the balance of body fluids.
Most energy drinks list caffeine and vitamins as the main ingredients. This makes them look healthy and attractive, but this is not true. Energy drinks claim to increase focus and improve productivity. They contain many added stimulants, such as:
- guarana.An herb used to prevent fatigue and improve mental speed. It is also used to promote weight loss and increase sexual desire. Guarana also contains caffeine. This makes the total amount of caffeine in the energy drink even higher.
- taurine. An additive used to improve memory and endurance.
- Ginseng. An herb used to reduce stress, strengthen muscles and improve endurance.
- Synephrine (bitter orange). An herb used to promote weight loss.
- L-carnitine L-tartrate (LCLT). Supplement used to increase energy, memory and speed. It is also used to break down fats.
- yerba colleagueAn herb used to prevent fatigue and improve mood.
- Ginkgo. An herb used to increase concentration and prevent fatigue.
- The grass of San Juan.An herb used to reduce fatigue and improve mood.
They are not always harmful in themselves. When combined with caffeine, they can cause health problems.
Because it’s important
A big problem with energy drinks is that there is little control by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that many of the ingredients have not been fully tested. In addition, there are no laws on product labels. Therefore, beverages may not include the right amount of caffeine.
Soft drinks contain about 30 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per serving. Coffee contains approximately 100 mg of caffeine per cup. Energy drinks can contain from 100 to 250 mg of caffeine per serving.
Energy drink companies do not help. Your ad can be compelling and dishonest. Some advertisements promise that energy drinks make it popular. For example, Red Bull says his drink “gives you wings.” Rockstar invites users to a “party like a rock star”. Amp suggests that this is “the energy you need, the flavors you crave.” These claims make energy drinks look safe and stylish.
Doctors are worried about the dangers of energy drinks. Side effects vary depending on the face, type and amount used. Reactions to energy drinks include:
- Headache, stomach pain or diarrhea. They can be caused by lack of water or poor diet.
- Chest pain.
- Feeling anxious or nervous.
- Dizziness or lack of concentration.
- Inability to sleep.
- Weight gain or diabetes due to sugar and calories in energy drinks.
- Dental problems.
Serious health problems can also occur when using energy drinks, such as:
- Addiction and withdrawal.
- High blood pressure.
- Heart problems. Several people report a fast heartbeat. The main use is associated with irregular heartbeat or heart failure. Rare cases are associated with death.
Children are more susceptible to caffeine. This can be detrimental to their growth. People who have heart disease or asthma are also at higher risk.
The road to better health
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) states that the FDA must create guidelines. Labels must be standard and correct. Products must be tested and controlled. AAFP is also against advertising and selling energy products to children under the age of 18.
Until that happens, we can take precautions. You need to be aware of the risks and talk to your children about it. Promote a healthy diet with enough sleep and regular exercise. People who do this need to have enough natural energy. It may be good to drink an energy drink from time to time. However, drinking them all the time can affect your health.
Schools can also help combat the use of energy drinks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says schools should only offer healthy drinks. Energy drinks should not be an option. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) also states that student athletes should not use energy drinks. They can make children sick and not be able to function properly. Some ingredients in energy drinks can appear in drug tests.
Aspects to be considered
There is another dangerous trend in energy drinks. It became “popular” and common to mix with alcohol. Mixing them up can make you feel less drunk than you are. It also affects your ability to make good decisions. The same is true if you mix energy drinks with illegal drugs or certain medications.
When to see a doctor
Talk to your doctor if you or your child has health problems from consuming energy drinks. They will have to stop consuming them. They may also need treatment for their symptoms.
Questions to ask your doctor
- How much caffeine can I safely drink each day?
- How many energy drinks are too many?
- How do I know if my health problems are caused by consuming energy drinks?
Copyright © American Academy of Family Physicians
This information provides an overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and for more information on this topic.
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