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Energy drinks… dangerous?

02 October 2017

By: Melissa A. Kay

When a cuppa Joe doesn't provide the extra oomph you need to get through the school- or workday, an energy drink may be what you crave. That sweet and peppy pick-me-up works fast, gets you amped up, and you're ready to face any task or challenge with the stamina of a superhero.

While these popular beverages may seem harmless, there is reason for concern. Just because they are sold in "health stores," your local grocer, or convenience store, and the TV commercials and ads have convinced you that the drinks are safe and reliable, there is overwhelming evidence that energy drinks can be dangerous. According to U.S. News & World Report, "Last year, there were more than 20,000 emergency room visits attributable to the ingestion of energy drinks."

Before you sip another can of instant zip, consider these reasons to stop your energy drink habit cold turkey.

Heart issues

Energy drinks may cause your heart to race, and for a healthy person, they may think it's the fuel kicking in to get them pumped up. For some, this may be all it is, and in moderation, no harm, no foul. But in other cases, these drinks can wreak havoc on the heart, even resulting in cardiac arrest, as per Caffeine Informer.

"Those with underlying heart conditions have gone into cardiac arrest after just a few energy drinks. A new study showed that energy drinks cause more forceful heart contractions, which could be harmful to some with certain heart conditions."

NBC News adds, "Drinking 32 ounces of energy drink is associated with potentially harmful changes in blood pressure and heart function that are beyond those seen with caffeine alone. Even just one 16-ounce energy drink can increase blood pressure and stress hormones and could put a healthy young adult at risk for heart damage, concludes a 2015 Mayo Clinic study."

As per U.S. News & World Report, "After drinking an energy drink, heart rate increases, blood vessels stiffen and your blood may become thicker; all changes that can precipitate a heart attack or stroke in those who are at risk."

Headaches

While not nearly as threatening as heart ailments, headaches are a common result from ingesting energy drinks, according to Caffeine Informer. "Too many energy drinks can lead to severe headaches from the caffeine withdrawal symptoms." If you've ever stopped drinking your usual morning cup of coffee, you may be all too familiar with some of these painful and sometimes debilitating symptoms.

As per Caffeine Informer, common caffeine withdrawal symptoms include headache, sleepiness, irritability, constipation, nausea, and even depression, to name a few. Are a few hours of extra energy worth the potential negative side-effects?

Allergies

Some people may be allergic to various ingredients in energy drinks. These allergies may be mild and tolerable or potentially life-threatening. As per Drug Information & Side Effects Database, Drugsdb.com, common indications of allergic reaction include, "Rash or hives, itching, swelling of the face and throat, tightness in the chest, and difficulty breathing."

While these reactions may subside, it is important to stop drinking right away see your doctor ASAP if something doesn't seem right.

Additional Side Effects

According to Drugsdb, additional side effects from consuming energy drinks include heart palpitations, flushed skin, a burning sensation, nosebleed, jitters, increased urination, and even seizures. Is pulling an "all-nighter" to cram for an exam or prep a PowerPoint worth the possible risk?

For an energy drink alternative that provides a steady flow of jitter-free energy and is also packed with 20 grams of good-for-you protein, consider Ignite Power Packs. They'll keep you going all day and the taste can't be beat.


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