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The Safety of Energy Drinks

By Joanne Sgro-Killworth HERWriter
 
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how safe are energy drinks?
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We are right smack in the middle of January and most health clubs are packed. This time of year, many workout novices and veterans are looking for a pick-me-up to get them through a workout.

As a fitness professional, I too am guilty of hitting the coffee shop before work or mid-day for some liquid energy. However, I do know that nothing takes the place of proper sleep, hydration and good nutrition.

Many others take it beyond a hot cup of java and reach for an energy drink.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, “A rising number of patients, many of them young people, are being treated in emergency rooms for complications related to highly caffeinated energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster Energy and 5-Hour Energy."

The article cited new federal data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, indicating that in the last four years hospitals saw double the amount of patients for symptoms resulting from consuming the drinks.

More than 20,000 visits were reportedly due to energy drinks which consist of "such problems, which are typically linked to excessive caffeine consumption, can include anxiety, headaches, irregular heartbeats and heart attacks.”

The question being asked by many is how safe are these drinks and how much is too much.

Most of the drinks are also laden with sugar and the amino acid taurine. According to the Mayo Clinic's website, when it comes to taurine and energy drinks in general, moderation is also important.

“Little is known about the effects of heavy or long-term taurine use. It's also important to remember that other ingredients in energy drinks, such as high amounts of caffeine or sugar, can be harmful. For example, too much caffeine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, interrupt your sleep, and cause nervousness and irritability.”

The New York Times article said that a majority of those treated were in their late teens and early adulthood. “About 42 percent of the people treated in emergency rooms for problems related to energy drinks had consumed the drinks along with alcohol or other substances, like Adderall and Ritalin.

Add a Comment3 Comments

annie lizstan

Hi,
Simple and Safe ways to maintain your energy and stay alert.
Caffeine is soft drinks. Caffeine can increase alertness, improve concentration and enhance mood.
Get a good night's sleep.
Exercise daily.
Eat well.
Hope will help.

February 19, 2013 - 12:48am
dorothymartin

Very informative article on energy drinks. We must be always precocious before consumption of such energy drinks. It must only be consumed in doses. Too much consumption may result from improper function within the digestion system.The chemical and drug's concentration is very high that it may harm our different parts of bodies system. So think before consumption.
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January 30, 2013 - 10:05pm
Proteinsforhealth

Some Energy drinks are safe Some energy drinks are not safe.My opinion Water is the best fluid in addition to a well-balanced natural protens.in this way no side effects,redusing cost and home made available.

Hemp protein is a form of protein found in the hemp plant .The hemp plant has several benefits. It is a complete protein, similar to meat, and contains all the amino acids that are essential to good diet. In addition, it has an extremely high absorption rate by the body which is especially good for people such as athletes that need quick uptake of protein to increase muscle mass.

January 29, 2013 - 10:18pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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