Today’s world is filled with instant gratification. If you want to go to the 7 o’clock movie, you can order them online. If you need to know how to get from point A to point B, a GPS navigation system will lead the way. And, if you need a 3pm pick-me-up, an energy drink will do the trick.
Red Bull’s marketing ads are genius. Rock Star’s energy beverage will make you feel that rush of adrenaline a rock star feels. But have you ever stopped to think what they’re doing to your body? Even if you can disregard the occasional news story about that teenager who went into cardiac arrest after pounding three energy drinks in an hour’s time, you have to wonder: is there some truth there? That energy drinks do more harm than good? That in excess, energy drinks can pollute your healthy body?
Energy Drinks are Packaged to Attract Every Age
Depending on where you buy your energy drinks, they can be packaged as dietary supplements next to the diet pills, or sold alongside the water bottle aisle. Either way, it’s misleading no matter what age bracket you fall under. Teenagers are especially vulnerable to anything packaged as trendy, and when it comes to beverages, energy drinks take the cake.
There’s strategy in the name: Red Bull, Rockstar, Amp and Monster—which are all appealing and eye-catching. There’s strategy in the packaging with bold silver and bright red. But aside from an attractive marketing brand, energy drinks chock your body full of three ingredients: sugar, caffeine and chemicals.
Energy Drinks are Instant Adrenaline
Energy drinks give you energy because of the sugar and caffeine it contains. Thinking about gulping down a sugar-free energy drink to spare some calories? Unfortunately, energy drinks aren’t hydrating such as an electrolyte-infused drink, and they don’t offer any nutritious value, such as a can of juice does. They’re made to grab your attention at the supermarket or gas station, go down fast and kick your energy into high gear.
Energy drinks contain a dangerous amount of sugar and caffeine (the equivalent of five cups of coffee.) Depending on how sensitive you are to caffeine, just one of those flashy energy drinks could result in a high heart rate, upset stomach, dehydration (which can cause constipation, suppressed appetite and dry mouth) and anxiety. They contain a startling amount of chemicals: taurine, aspartame and guarana—all of which stimulate the brain into overdrive, and produce an “upper” and “downer” effect.
While one energy drink doesn’t have the power to set forth poor health for your body and mind, be cautious. One drink can easily become another, until that jolt of adrenaline you get from them becomes a habit. If you struggle with staying awake mid-afternoon, or love the feeling you get from caffeine, try a natural dose, instead! Make green tea a habit, or stick to an old fashioned cup of coffee. The future of your health may depend on it.