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Health Hazards of Energy Drinks

Recently the UAE health authorities have issued a ban stating that the kids and pregnant women should not consume energy drinks. Until then, I was blissfully unaware about the existence of energy drinks and the harm it causes to the body. After a small research this is what I found out.

According to its manufacturers energy drinks increase energy levels and it is the result of variety of stimulants and vitamins. Energy shots are specialized variety where they are sold in 50 ml bottles and they are concentrated form of energy drinks.

There is a widespread awareness in the health circles that these energy drinks are not good for health. Energy drinks may induce agitation, anxiety, irritability and sleeplessness. These so called energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine which can cause nervousness, increased urination, abnormal heart rhythms and sometimes pupil dilatation when taken with anti depressants.

Caffeine present in energy drinks excretes water from the body and dilutes the high amount of sugar entering the blood which directly results in dehydration. Dehydration reduces the performance of the individual. When taken along with alcohol energy drinks affects the heart rate, blood pressure and the mental stability. The caffeine content of energy drinks may be around 80- 300mg along with high amounts of sugar.

Children with ADHD, diabetes and heart condition should never take energy drinks. Caffeine can induce sleeplessness and affect the ability of performance in children. Diabetic children should be careful because the high amounts of sugar in energy drinks causes imbalance in sugar and insulin levels.

 The energy drinks are generally classified as dietary supplements and it is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. There is a common tendency among people to believe that it is healthy considering its classification as a health supplement.

According to a report in Time Healthland officials in Germany have been tracking health effects of energy drinks since 2002 and they have noted liver damage, seizures, racing heart rate, respiratory discomfort and even death. The so called sports drinks and energy drinks can corrode teeth due to high acidity levels and will result in weakened tooth enamel.

Researchers have found a link between consumption of energy drinks and risk taking behavior among college students characterized by hyper-masculinity and risk taking. Researchers found links between energy drinks consumption and substance abuse, participating in extreme sports and doing something dangerous. Energy drinks consumption has also been linked to heavy drinking and alcohol dependence.

Now these energy drinks are not good for pregnant women. High amounts of caffeine can increase miscarriage, difficulty in birth and low birth weight babies. The substances which are present in energy drinks does not have concrete research backup about its safety during pregnancy and lactation. At the end of the day a glass of chilled fresh water spiced up with lemon would do wonders for your energy level and health.

Take care

photos courtesy of
 photo of drink cans Victor Habbick
photo of cola splash by Paul 
photo of cola by Rawich 


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