Energy Drinks– The Hidden Dangers

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Energy Drink Dangers

Energy drinks: popular, relatively inexpensive, and readily available. It’s no wonder so many people turn to them when they need a little “pick-me-up.” What people don’t realize, is the same drink promising a boost in energy, also promises cardiac arrest, migraines, insomnia, and increased anxiety. Just to name a few.  

It’s All Fun and Games…

The battle of energy drink benefits vs. dangers is long going and doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon. They key to avoiding potential dangers that come with consuming energy drinks is education. The more you know, the better you do, right?

We teach our children to read and write, how to use their manners and be successful adults, too, so shouldn’t we also educate them on the potential dangers their trendy new energy drink will have on not only their oral health, but their overall health, as well?

Energy drinks sound like a dream. Who doesn’t want more energy, after all? Scientist determined the acidity levels in 22 energy and sports drinks were so high that people were essentially bathing their teeth in acid.  

Energy drinks are also not FDA regulated. Why? Because many of them are (mis)labeled as “supplements” and supplements are unregulated by the FDA, so energy drinks skate past caffeine limits. Based on a recent study, an average energy drink can range from 6 mg (for a “decaf” version) to 242 mg of caffeine for an “extra strength” version.

Dr. Philip Brewer, university medical director for Student Health Services, describes energy drinks as a youth-oriented, fad marketing trend. He suggests a limited consumption of energy drinks, if any at all.

According to a report by the Journal of Pediatrics, 30 to 50 percent of people 18 to 25 consume energy drinks. And when they are combined with alcohol, a common trend among college students, their impact on the body can be even worse.

“Alcohol is a depressant, and when you combine that with a stimulant, like energy drinks, it causes problems,” Brewer said. “Stimulants prompt the secretion of adrenaline, which makes the heart’s rhythm less stable if you’re combining that with alcohol. This can also cause cardiac arrest, particularly after binge consumption.”

Check out this video for more energy drink facts: 

And That’s Not All…

There is a great deal of research available, which discusses and explains the dangers of energy drinks; yet, sadly, according to the Senior Health Promotion Officer with Population Health Paramjit Kaur, the consumption of energy drinks has significantly increased over the last 10 years.

Next time you feel yourself needing a little pick-me-up, reach for something natural and less dangerous to your health!

~Dr. Marea White