Energy drinks have become hugely popular beverages to help us to get through the day. Where many of us once looked to coffee to give us a bit of a jolt on Monday afternoons or when we needed to stay up late to complete an especially important project, energy drinks have taken over for many people.
These beverages are a combination of soda and powerful stimulants that do indeed help to provide greater alertness and focus. When we really need to be at our best and can’t fall victim to fatigue, having one of these drinks handy can feel like a gift. However, this may not be the type of gift you actually want.
According to a review recently published in the Frontiers in Public Health journal, that temporary energy spike comes at a cost and it may not be one you’re willing to pay.
The review analyzed the results of a number of current studies that looked into the link between the use of energy drinks and the presence of certain risks. The researchers who conducted the review came to the conclusion that there are actually a broad spectrum of health problems associated with even occasional use of energy drinks.
For one thing, they can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle, making it harder to get the right amount of rest on a regular basis. They can also cause weight gain and make blood pressure spike. However, there is also a staggering amount of evidence that also suggests that using energy drinks can lead to mental health problems, a higher risk of substance abuse, a greater chance of developing diabetes, kidney damage and even tooth decay.
In fact, the study author, Josiemer Mattei, PhD, a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health assistant professor of nutrition, called the negative impact of consuming energy drinks “quite astounding.”
There are a number of reasons that energy drinks lead to these types of issue. The sugar content alone in these beverages is exceptionally high. Among the most common ingredients in these drinks are sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and artificial sweeteners. The average 16.9 ounce (500 ml) can contains approximately 54 grams of sugar (the equivalent to 13.5 teaspoons!).
When taking into consideration that the American Heart Association doesn’t recommend any more than 36 grams per day for men and even less for women it’s clear that these drinks contain an excessive amount of sugar.
The sugar, in combination with the high stimulant dose, usually from guarana in the ingredients, among others, can open the door to a number of additional side effects and risks. To get natural feeling energy without the added sugar, we recommend taking an energy supplement with green tea, such as 3G BURN. It’s a lot better than fueling up on high calorie drinks or artificial sweeteners to overcome fatigue, only to crash later.