Energy drinks promise to give people a quick boost in alertness and stamina, but those small, short-term benefits seem to be outweighed by potentially serious long-term health effects related to their use, according to a newly-published study on the drinks.
Energy Drinks and Their Toll on the Body
Energy drinks usually get their kick from the excessive sugar and caffeine they contain. Now, a recently released study shows that consuming high amounts of those ingredients can lead to obesity, diabetes, kidney damage, high blood pressure, tooth decay, and fatigue. It might also result in mental health problems such as addiction, anxiety, and risk-seeking behavior.
“The wide range of conditions that energy drinks can negatively impact was quite astounding,” noted study co-author Josiemer Mattei, Ph.D., of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The study, which was released in Frontiers in Public Health, was a review of previous studies conducted on the potential health effects of these popular beverages.
While the American Heart Association recommends no more than 36 grams of sugar per day for men, a typical energy drink can have over 50 grams. It may also contain up to 100 milligrams of caffeine per ounce, which is eight times more than a cup of coffee.
Some energy drinks may also have ingredients that aren’t listed on the label. According to Beth Warren, author of “Living a Real Life With Real Food”, energy drink producers can get away with not listing ingredients because their products are considered dietary supplements, which means that the FDA only loosely regulates them.
Mattei believes that sales of the drinks to minors should be restricted. He also considers that their caffeine content should be appropriately regulated.
Given what the latest studies show, not consuming that next energy drink is likely to be very good for one’s future health, claim the researchers.
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