The Health Risks of Energy Drinks

The Health Risks of Energy Drinks

by Ann Harrison

Although nearly half of all children and young adults living in the United States consume energy drinks such as Red Bull and Five Hour Energy to give them a boost of energy every day, research shows that there are many health risks associated with drinking these types of beverages.

Image @ Wikimedia
Image @ Wikimedia

For starters, energy drinks have significantly less caffeine as a cup of coffee, yet twice the amount as the same sized can of soft drink, and they are loaded with sugar and other artificial sweeteners. Although these facts alone appeal more to teens and young adults, there are a number of side effects associated with consuming them in large quantities.

Consuming too many energy drinks can cause severe headaches due to caffeine withdrawal. Changing the number of energy drinks you consume, or the frequency of your consumption can cause your headaches to become more frequent. To reduce these headaches, you may want to consider gradually reducing the amount of energy drinks you consume, and eventually avoid them altogether. Caffeinated beverages, including energy drinks, can cause a person to stay awake longer. However, consuming energy drinks in large quantities can cause insomnia. The inability to get a good night’s sleep  can significantly  impair a person’s ability to drive, operate heavy machinery or complete any other tasks, which needs his or her strictest attention.

A research study conducted by the services for substance abuse and mental health, found that the number of emergency room visits doubled from 10,000 to over 20,000 between 2007 and 2011. The cause of the emergency room visits? Over consumption of energy shots, or mixing energy shots with medication and other pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs.

Although these risks can be dangerous to a person’s health, the biggest danger of over consumption of energy drinks is to the heart.  In many cases, people who consume a large quantity of energy drinks suffer from high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and in some cases cardiac arrest. These risks are greatly increased in people with underlying heart conditions. Before you begin drinking energy shots, talk to your doctor about your overall health, and find out if the health risks outweigh the benefits of these beverages to you, as an individual.

About the Author

Ann Harrison is a totally blind author, who grew up in the small town of Rochelle, Georgia, and has moved back to her family home after living in North Georgia for several years. Ann has written many articles of general interest for a number of clients since June of 2010, including the Cordele Dispatch. She has also published a short story entitled “The Big Climb” in Awethology Light. Ann also published a story entitled “The Woods” in December Awethology Light Volume by The #Awethors. She is currently working on several novels, and a self-help book. To read more of Ms. Harrison’s inspirational writings, visit her blog at www.wwannwrites.wordpress.com.

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