Energy Drinks were first used back in London, 1929. “Lucozade Energy” was originally used in the aiding the recovery of hospital stays to “replenish.” It was not until 1997, that an Australian entrepreneur presented the energy drink ingredients that are used today, with “Red Bull.” By 2001 the energy drink industry had grown to nearly 8 million in sales. Today it is a 10 BILLION dollar market!
Energy drinks are particularly attractive to young people. Approximately 66% of its drinkers are between 13-35 years old, with males making up 65% of that market.
Energy drinks generally contain methylxanthines, (including caffeine) B vitamins, and herbs. Other common ingredients are: guarana, acai, taurine and gensing. Most contain vary high levels of sugar.
The most alarming ingredient is the high level of caffeine. Energy drinks contain approximately 3 times the amount of caffeine that is in a 12 ounce cola. For example, Coca-Cola Classic contains 35mg of caffeine whereas a Monster Energy Drink contains 120mg of caffeine.
The most disturbing fact is that people are not looking at the labels and understanding what they are drinking. Then, making matters even worse, people will have more than one energy drink a day. If you add other stimulants such as ginseng and guarana, that actually contain caffeine, the adverse effects are staggering.
Adverse side effects associated with consuming too much caffeine are: Sleeplessness, irritability, nervousness abnormal heart rhythms, and increased urination. Pupil dilation will occur if consumed while on anti-depression medications (SSRIs). “Crash” symptoms will occur if consumed with alcohol due to the coupling effect of a stimulant with a depressant. This is detrimental to the brain and heart, causing seizures and heart attacks.
We need to be aware as a community of the dangers of energy drinks since our largest consumers are our children! Please be observant, read the labels of the energy drink your children are drinking, what they are drinking it with and why they are drinking it. Even as adults, we need to monitor our own lifestyles. If you need to have 3 energy drinks to get through the day, then maybe you should reevaluate “why?”