With the hectic pace of life, people use whatever means is at their disposal to have the energy to get through the day. For some, this is drinking lots of coffee. For others, going to the gym seems to give them the boost they need; but for some, energy drinks are what works best.
Energy drinks have large amounts of caffeine and sugar in them, and some have a proprietary blend of herbs. The caffeine in energy drinks isn't necessarily any higher than that of a Starbucks 16-ounce iced coffee according to Forbes, yet people do seem to have some adverse reactions to them. Below are 8 common side effects seen from energy drink use.
1. Rapid heart rate. As the caffeine and sugar hits the consumer's blood stream, the heart rate increases. For whatever reason, WebMD shares that the combination of herbs, sugar and caffeine in some energy drinks may create a rapid heart rate for some who drink them.
2. Increased blood pressure. Another side effect of the combination of ingredients, the Mayo Clinic says, is more cases of increased blood pressure with those who regularly use energy drinks.
3. Impaired judgement. When energy drinks are combined with alcohol, consumers are not aware that they are intoxicated. WebMD states that the feelings of intoxication are blunted and this can lead to more people driving under the influence without being aware that they are doing so.
4. Cravings for more. Just like with any type of stimulant (e.g., coffee, caffeinated soda, etc.), the ingredients in an energy drink cause the body to crave more of the stimulant to get the same effect. Medical News Today says, though, that energy drinks may open the door for more than just a craving for caffeine and sugar. A new study suggests that those who use energy drinks on a regular basis have a greater risk at developing a substance abuse problem later in life.
5. Irregular heartbeat. The combination of caffeine and Taurine in some energy drinks may be the reason that some users suffer from an irregular heart beat says WebMD. Those who have heart trouble already should exercise caution with energy drinks containing this combination.
6. Nervousness. Each person is wired differently, so for some, when the high amounts of sugar and caffeine hit the system, a feeling of nervousness or anxiety is the result according to the Mayo Clinic.
7. Insomnia. Generally, energy drinks are consumed because people are feeling tired and groggy. The unfortunate side effect, says the Mayo Clinic and WebMD, is that when it's time to sleep, the caffeine has not yet fully worked itself out of the system, so insomnia results.
8. Irritability. A natural result of insomnia is then irritability. Besides just a result of insomnia, WebMD points out that as a person crashes from the sugar and caffeine, the dopamine (feel-good drug in the brain) drops. As this happens, irritability sets in.
Energy drinks, like everything else in life, have their use. WebMD, and the Mayo Clinic both point out that using them occasionally is definitely okay. Be careful not to mix them with alcohol consumption, and, as with all things in life, remember to exercise moderation and common sense in their use.
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