Energy drinks: are there any benefits and what are the harms to …

Health Tips

Manufacturers claim that their drinks only benefit and produce more and more new varieties. If everything is so rosy, why did legislators try to pass a law restricting the distribution of the miracle drink? Let’s figure it out.

What’s in energy drinks

  • Caffeine. It contains all, without exception, “energy”. Acts as a stimulant: 100 mg of caffeine stimulates mental activity, 238 mg increases cardiovascular endurance. To get this effect, you need to drink at least three cans, but the manufacturers of “energy drinks” recommend consuming no more than 1-2 cans per day.

  • Taurine. One jar contains on average 400 to 1000 mg of taurine. It is an amino acid stored in muscle tissue. It is believed that it improves the functioning of the heart muscle. Recently, however, opinions have appeared among physicians that taurine does not have any effect on the human body at all.

Carnitine. It is a component of human cells that contributes to the rapid oxidation of fatty acids. Carnitine enhances metabolism and reduces muscle fatigue.

  • Guarana and ginseng. Medicinal plants with tonic properties. Guarana leaves are used in medicine: they remove lactic acid from muscle tissues, reducing pain during physical exertion, prevent atherosclerosis and cleanse the liver. Doctors, however, believe that the stimulating properties attributed to guarana and ginseng are not confirmed by research.

  • B group vitamins. Necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system and the brain in particular. The body can feel the lack of them, but increasing the dose will not improve your performance, mental abilities or anything else, as the energy drink manufacturers are trying to convince.

  • Melatonin. Contained in the body and is responsible for the daily rhythm of a person.

  • Matein. The substance that is part of the South American green tea mate. Ilex Paraguarensis evergreen tree extract helps fight hunger and promotes weight loss.

What are the potential benefits of energy drinks?

  • If you just need to cheer up or activate the brain, energy drinks are great for these purposes.

  • You can find a drink according to your needs. Energy drinks are divided into groups for people with different needs: some have more caffeine, others have vitamins and carbohydrates. “Coffee” drinks are suitable for avid workaholics and students who work or study at night, and “vitamin-carbohydrate” drinks are for active people who prefer to spend their free time in the gym.

  • In energy drinks there is a complex of vitamins and glucose. There is no need to talk about the benefits of vitamins. Glucose is rapidly absorbed into the blood, involved in oxidative processes and delivers energy to the muscles, brain and other vital organs.

  • The effect of taking coffee lasts 1-2 hours, from energy drinks – 3-4. In addition, almost all energy drinks are carbonated, which accelerates their effect – this is the third difference from coffee.

  • The packaging allows you to use energy drinks in any situation (dance floor, car), which is not always possible with the same coffee or tea.

Why are energy drinks harmful?

  • As a result of drinking in excess of the norm, a significant increase in blood pressure or blood sugar levels is possible.

  • In France, Denmark and Norway, until 2009, energy drinks were banned from sale in grocery stores, they could only be bought in pharmacies, as they were considered a medicine.

  • Vitamins contained in energy tonics cannot replace a multivitamin complex.

  • People with blood pressure or heart problems should avoid these drinks.

  • The opinion that the tonic saturates with energy is absolutely wrong. The contents of the jar, like a key, opens the door to the body’s internal reserves. In other words, the bank does not give energy, it sucks it out of you. A person uses his own resources, or, more simply, borrows them from himself. Debt, of course, sooner or later has to be repaid, paying with fatigue, insomnia, irritability and depression.

  • The caffeine contained in tonics, like any stimulant drug, depletes the nervous system. The effect of it lasts an average of three to five hours – after which the body needs a break. Plus, caffeine is addictive. However, it is worth noting that the EU food safety authority conducted studies on the basis of which it was concluded that the risk from drinking non-alcoholic tonic drinks does not exceed the risk from drinking coffee – again, only if you do not exceed the recommended dosage.

  • An energy drink like a drink containing sugar and caffeine is not safe for a young body.

  • Many energy drinks are high in vitamin B, which can cause heart palpitations and tremors in the arms and legs.

  • Fitness lovers should remember that caffeine is a good diuretic. So, it is impossible to drink a drink after a workout, during which we lose water.

  • In case of an overdose, side effects are possible: tachycardia, psychomotor agitation, nervousness, depression.

  • Tonics contain taurine and glucuronolactone. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued an opinion in February 2009 on these ingredients as ingredients in non-alcoholic tonic energy drinks. It turned out that in the quantities in which they are contained in energy drinks, taurine and glucuronolactone are safe for human health. However, these supplements also have their own contraindications: in particular, age under 18, long-term use in diabetics (exacerbation of the disease is possible).

As you can see, there are more arguments “against” than arguments “for”. And yet, it is quite possible that there will come a moment in your life (hopefully a one-time) when you feel the need to drink a jar of energy drinks. In this case, read the rules for the use of tonics, which help not to harm your beloved body.

Photo: pixabay

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