If you’re fighting exhaustion and have a ton to do, having an energy or caffeine drink can seem like an easy solution.
Yet, the evidence is becoming clear: The health risks of consuming these “foods” are serious.
Energy drinks are loaded with sugar, and often contain enough caffeine to count for one or more cups of coffee.
Keep in mind that other stimulants like amino acids and caffeine-containing herbs may be added to energy drinks, too.
When combined with a daily coffee habit, these stimulants have a cumulative effect. It can be too much for even the healthiest body to handle!
Drinking energy drinks and too much caffeine can be devastating to cardiovascular health.
Your energy spikes up for a time, but your heart health can come crashing down.
Here’s some of the latest evidence:
More bad news…
The same study that shows an increase in blood pressure also shows a 74% increase in the stress hormone, norepinephrine, from consuming one energy drink.
Energy drinks and excess caffeine send your stress levels soaring! Common side effects to watch for include:
Energy drinks and caffeine stress the bladder and kidneys. High doses of caffeine have a strong diuretic action and can be very dehydrating, especially if overused (like most energy drinks are today).
Dehydration increases your risk of UTI’s (urinary tract infections), and is a major factor in kidney stone development. For people with kidney disease, dehydration can be deadly.
Excess caffeine can damage the bones by depleting the body of critical minerals like calcium.
Women with osteoporosis or at risk for osteoporosis (very thin women, menopausal women) should definitely limit their consumption.
Excess caffeine imbalances hormones, particularly for women. Caffeine is a known aggravator of fibroids, PMS, and menopausal hot flashes.
High doses of caffeine may also trigger miscarriage in some women.
Finally, all of the sugar added to energy and caffeine drinks can lead to insulin imbalance and high blood sugar swings.
Preliminary evidence links energy drinks and sugar-laden caffeine drinks to increased risk of diabetes.
On days when I’m dragging, three simple, natural approaches give me more energy right away!
Fresh fruits and vegetables are on the top of my list because, as high enzyme sources, their energizing nutrients are rapidly digested and absorbed.
Drinking water is another great energizer. Water speeds up metabolism, and eliminates fatigue-causing toxins in the bloodstream.
Finally, herbs like American Ginseng, Maca and Schisandra are natural tonics for energy. They encourage sustained, healthy body energy and come without the health risks of energy drinks and too much caffeine.
Jaeger, K. (2015, Nov.) New Study Confirms Energy Drinks Are Bad For Your Heart.Retrieved from http://www.attn.com/stories/4088/energy-drinks-bad-heart-health
Kidney expert warns that people are in denial about dehydration (2013, May). Retrieved from http://www.uhs.nhs.uk/AboutTheTrust/Newsandpublications/Latestnews/2013/Kidney-expert-warns-people-are-in-denial-about-dehydration.aspx
Menci, D., Righini, F.M., Cameli, M., Lisi, M., Benincasa, S., Focardi, M., et al. (2013, Sept.) Acute effects of an energy drink on myocardial function assessed by conventional echo-Doppler analysis and by speckle tracking echocardiography on young healthy subjects. Journal of Amino Acids. 2013. Retrieved from http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jaa/2013/646703/abs/
Miller, A. (2015, Jan). Are energy drinks really that bad? Retrieved from US News Health,
Shah, S., Dargush, A., Potts, V., Lee, M., Millard-Hasting, B., Williams, B, et al. (2016, Feb.) Effects of single and multiple energy shots on blood pressure and electrocardiographic parameters. The American Journal of Cardiology. 117(3), 465–468. Retrieved from www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149(15)02256-0/abstract?cc=y=
Svatikova, A., Covassin, N., Somers, K., Somers, K.V., Soucek, F., Kara, T., et al.. (2015, Nov.) A randomized trial of cardiovascular responses to energy drink consumption in healthy adults. Journal of the American Medical Association. 314(19), 2079-2082. Retrieved from http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2469194#Results
Top ten energy drink dangers. (2016) Retrieved from Caffeine Informer, http://www.caffeineinformer.com/top-10-energy-drink-dangers