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Energy Drinks- A Yes or a No

Energy Drinks: A Yes or a No?

Have you ever found yourself reaching for a bottle of your favourite energy drink during your adolescence or after a strenuous workout? What made that particular drink your favourite? Was it the ingredients, the energy value, or mere advertisements that caught your eye?

Energy drinks have been on the market for a long time. They are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by teenagers and young adults after multivitamins.

According to projections, the market for energy drinks will increase at a CAGR of 8.2% from 2022 to 2031, from a market size of $45.80 billion in 2020 to $108.40 billion in 2031.

There are millions of results when searching for “energy drink” on Google. Although popular energy drink brands like Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar have been around for a while, a lot of new products have just entered the market. Reign, Bang, FRS Healthy Energy, and Guru are a few of the newcomers.

Innovative flavours, low-sugar and low-calorie coffee drinks, performance ingredients, ESports products, and healthier nutrition are some of the emerging trends in energy drinks.

Here in this blog, we look at the industry more closely and analyze the problems associated with it.

Energy Drinks and Health

Although some controlled studies have demonstrated a transient improvement in alertness and reversal of fatigue after consuming energy drinks, as well as better physical performance in young athletes, the majority of studies show an association with adverse health effects. These include elevated stress levels, aggressive behaviours like fighting, heavy drinking and smoking, high blood pressure, an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, poor sleep, and stomach discomfort.

Concerns with Energy Drinks:

While energy drinks can provide a temporary boost, there are also potential risks and negative effects associated with their use.

  • Harmful impact on adolescent health – Due in part to their smaller bodies, children and teenagers may be more sensitive to the effects of high caffeine concentrations, additional sugars such as low-calorie sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, and herbal stimulants.
  • Marketing strategies targeting youth – Children’s websites, computer games, television, supermarkets, and sporting events all expose kids to ads for energy drinks. Teenagers are especially vulnerable to the dangerous actions that are often portrayed in energy drink marketing since research has revealed that they lack maturity in important brain regions and are more likely to take risks. Energy drinks appeal to young people because of their persuasive marketing, peer pressure, and lack of information about potential negative consequences.
  • Adverse health effects – Recent studies have found a link between the consumption of energy drinks and young risk-taking behaviours, poor mental health, harmful cardiovascular impacts, and metabolic, renal, or dental issues.
  • Excessive caffeine – Caffeine overdose can cause anxiety, insomnia, and heart problems like irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure, and in rare cases, seizures or cardiac arrest. This is especially true when multiple caffeinated beverages are consumed by people in one day.
  • High sugar content – Some energy drinks carry the same health concerns as other sugar-sweetened beverages because of the excessive sugar content in them.
  • Alcohol risks – When energy drinks and alcohol are combined, a practice commonly observed among teenage drinkers and linked to binge drinking, a larger risk is presented. Studies show that drinking this kind of cocktail causes one to consume more alcohol than would be the case if drinking alcohol alone. This might be because energy drinks make people more awake, which hides the indicators of intoxication and makes them think they can drink even more. In case reports, high-energy drink use has been linked to harmful cardiovascular, psychiatric, and neurologic outcomes, including fatal ones, especially when combined with alcohol.
  • Poor regulation – Energy drinks are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), although the FDA does impose a limit of 71 mg of caffeine per 12 ounces of soda, but energy drinks normally contain roughly 120 mg per 12 ounces. To get around the caffeine cap, energy drink producers can decide to categorise their product as a supplement. The American Beverage Association established optional guidelines for businesses that categorise their energy drinks as beverages. These rules suggest precise caffeine content labelling, limiting marketing to children, and reporting adverse events to the FDA. But there has been little evidence that these rules are being followed.

What You Can Do About It

To address these problems, there are several solutions that can be implemented. One solution is to regulate the levels of caffeine and other stimulants that are allowed in energy drinks. This could help to reduce the risk of negative effects and ensure that the drinks are safe to consume.

Another solution is to educate people, particularly young people, about the potential risks and negative effects of energy drinks, and to encourage the responsible use of these products. This could involve providing information about the recommended serving sizes and frequency of consumption, as well as the potential risks associated with consuming large amounts of energy drinks.

Some Energy Drink Alternatives:

  • Drink Water – A study found that maintaining proper hydration keeps your body functioning. Every morning, with meals and before, during, and after workouts, drink a glass of water.
  • Eat protein and carbohydrates – The American Heart Association says they are an excellent source of fuel for exercise. While protein aids in muscular growth, carbohydrates give your muscles energy.
  • Take vitamins – Your body may manufacture energy with the aid of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium. Fatigue may be a result of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Talk to your doctor about getting a nutritional assessment or including a vitamin supplement in your diet if you feel like you always need an energy boost. Nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and other high-nutrient foods can all be added to your diet.
  • Be active – Exercise can lead to an increase in the chemicals serotonin and endorphins in the body, which can improve mood and increase energy levels. Regular exercise can also enhance energy levels.

Bottom Line

Energy drinks may have negative health impacts, especially in children, teenagers, and young adults, according to scientific research.

People may pick energy drinks as a caffeine source instead of coffee or tea. However, they also include a lot of sugar, vitamins, and herbs that a normal individual might not need. Children, teenagers, pregnant women, and those with health issues including diabetes and cardiovascular disease are among the vulnerable populations for whom energy drinks can be harmful. Adults who wish to use energy drinks should examine the label for caffeine content and limit their intake (over 200 mg of caffeine per drink). It’s best to avoid consuming alcohol and energy drinks together. In order to guarantee that all of their young patients and their parents are aware of the health dangers associated with energy drinks, pediatricians must have a discussion with them.

Overall, while energy drinks can provide a momentary boost, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and to consume them in moderation. By implementing solutions such as regulation and education, it is possible to mitigate the negative effects of energy drinks and ensure that they are used safely and responsibly.

 

Authored by – Guniyal Bagga