Not too long ago, if you wanted a boost in your cognitive awareness and wanted to stay alert, you drank coffee. For a long time, coffee was pretty much the only way to wake yourself up if you were feeling sluggish and tired. That all changed, however, when Red Bull showed up on the market, with the promise of “giving you wings”. Nowadays, energy drinks are all around us, from Monster to Rockstar to Amp, with newer and bolder flavors coming out all the time. Ever since energy drinks exploded on the market, however, people have been questioning how safe it is to chug that much caffeine. It’s natural that any new phenomenon will have naysayers and alarmists, but are energy drinks really that bad for you? Let’s look at the data and see if we can’t come to a definitive answer to the energy drink question.
Before we can understand if energy drinks are good or bad for you, we first have to look at what’s contained within each can. Unfortunately, there is a broad spectrum of beverages that are classified as “energy drinks”, and there is no standard blend of ingredients, but the top four brands (Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, 5 Hour Energy) all use a variation of the same ingredients, so we can start there.
Effects on the Body
Overall, the ingredient list in energy drinks doesn’t show any significant “red flags”, but experts still warn about the dangers of long-term consumption, as well as ingesting high levels of caffeine. If you need multiple energy drinks throughout the day, it could have adverse effects on you later on, or it could do absolutely nothing. The only real danger is a dependence on energy drinks, which can lead to withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking them.
The biggest danger of energy drinks comes from high sugar content and high levels of caffeine. Everyone processes these differently, but if you want to keep up your energy drink habit, choose sugar-free options and maybe cut down a little bit. The other danger is tolerance and the fact that the wakefulness experienced will cover up other health issues that could affect your level of alertness. Basically, keep everything in moderation, and stop drinking them if you start to notice any adverse side effects, like a fast heartbeat or general jitters.
For more info or advice on health and nutrition, call one of our Los Angeles fitness experts at A4 Fitness today!
Adam & Amanda
We have spent most of our adult lives training and guiding hundreds of people toward better health & fitness. We have created this A4 Blog in order to better educate our friends & members. We will answer any of your health / fitness / nutrition questions as well as keeping you posted on what's new at A4.