Energy Drinks and Your Health
From Student Health Services
Energy drinks have become very popular among adolescents and young adults, but caution should be exercised when drinking these high caffeine beverages. These drinks may give people a jolt of energy but they also boost heart rates and blood pressure levels. People who have high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid energy drinks since they can affect blood pressure or change the effectiveness of medications.
Energy drinks contain more caffeine than soda. The average can of soda contains 25-40 milligrams of caffeine with most energy drinks containing double the amount. The main health risk that is associated with consuming large quantities of caffeine is irregular heartbeat. In addition they might contain excessive amounts of vitamins B6 and B12.
There have been numerous reported cases of people dying after drinking energy drinks and exercising heavily. Energy drinks can also lead to dehydration. The caffeine and sugar in energy drinks does not provide the necessary hydration that may provide the person energy to perform a task in an efficient manner. Mixing energy drinks with alcohol has also become popular. This combination is even more dehydrating than drinking either beverage alone, and studies suggest that this can be harmful to the heart. In addition, drinking energy drinks with alcohol gives the false sense that a person is less intoxicated than they actually are. Alcohol is a depressant and the energy drink boosts the person’s energy, which can give the false perception of not being drunk and allowing a person to make high risk decisions such as driving under the influence which can end up in a fatality.