Some people swear by energy drinks for mental alertness and better focus to complete a goal with more endurance or improved reaction time in the case of athletes. Still others, rely on them for help with weight loss with how they suppress appetite and power up the metabolism to burn more calories. Nevertheless, are energy drink ingredients really beautiful and as beneficial to your body as you think?
For the most part, caffeine is one of the prime ingredients, which has antioxidants and active components that can help with brain function, heart health and internal inflammation. It can also protect the body against type 2 diabetes, colon cancer to Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, it can curb the appetite. The key to keeping caffeine healthy is limiting it to 200 milligrams or the equivalent of two cups of coffee. However, the Mayo Clinic suggests 400 mg. is not ideal, but safe before risking side effects like rebound headaches, insomnia, nervous and my favorite of more frequents trips to the bathroom.
An energy drink such as a 12-oz. can of Red Bull has 102 mg. of caffeine, the same size Monster Energy Drink has 122 mg. On the other hand, Rockstar Punched Up has 180 mg. of caffeine for that 12-oz. can. Larger sizes have more caffeine or drinking several cans can be dangerous from potential caffeine toxicity.
Another of these ingredients that may give you reason for concern is guarana that many of them have. Guarana is a natural form of caffeine derived from a Brazilian plant. This ingredient alone when combined in a formula that already has caffeine increases the amount of caffeine.
How can we forget all the glucose and sucrose in energy drinks? After all, they are the sugar that can provide that instant energy rush.
Taurine, an amino acid, is another of these energy drink components. Alone, taurine, is one of the best things for your body for overall health. It benefits muscle tissue by efficiently moving potassium along to benefit organs as well as the brain. In fact, taurine is great for help with the eyes and retinal degeneration. In energy drinks, this ingredient also is combined with others such as sugar that can backfire and harm your health.
You also should take a closer look at panax ginseng, still another of these ingredients typical to energy drinks. While this ingredient will fight fatigue and curb appetite, too much will also cause insomnia, breast pain, high or low blood pressure, itching, dizziness, and headaches, etc. It also can interfere with your medication such as your insulin or an anticoagulant. The problem of panax ginseng in energy drinks is that is elevates the effect of the caffeine to cause concern.
L-carnitine is an amino acid that you may notice among energy drink ingredients. This one helps with muscle movement by turning fat into energy. The problem is that it can interact with your prescriptions such a blood thinner like warfarin (coumadin) or a thyroid medication. Don’t forget that when this ingredient is incorporated with other energy drink ingredients, it can alter how it works or increase its levels.
There are still other ingredients such as milk thistle, kola nut and inositol that you may see on some brands. The value of what they offer the body through energy drinks is still debatable.
There you have it with the benefits and risks that energy drinks can offer. To play it safe, you just may want to try drinking more water before, during and after getting physical. It can be a more beautiful way to hydrate and treat your body.