Energy drinks the biggest thing since sliced bread. Energy drinks were originally developed to give athletes an extra boost before and during workouts. As with Gatorade the phenomenon spread to the general public like wildfire. The choices and exact effects of energy drinks are becoming more diverse as more people seek out energy drinks for a myriad of reasons. There are even alcoholic energy drinks. Everything seems to have ingredients that “give” us energy. What are these ingredients and how are they giving us energy? Is it healthy?
Some of the benefits of energy drinks are mental and physical alertness. In one study energy drinks proved to provide a significant increase in upper body endurance when doing bench press exercises. But the benefits seem minuscule when compared to the vices of this phenomenon.
The major, underlying problem with energy drinks is not that we like to drink them every now and then; maybe we have to work a double shift once a month or a special occasion calls for a late night. Its that America needs them. We can not function without them. Our lives are so jam packed with extra curricular activities that we have to fuel our body to ignore its natural need for sleep to keep unnatural hours and deprive our body of one of its most important function, sleep.
One of the dangers of energy drinks is the caffeine content. A 12oz cola has 34mg of caffeine while a monster has 4 times that amount! Caffeine in small doses are not bad but to much can cause high blood pressure and high heart rate.
A huge danger is alcoholic energy drinks. The stimulant effect of the caffeine can mask how intoxicated you are and prevent you from realizing how much alcohol you have consumed. The stimulants can also mask your fatigue and put you under the impression that you are not impaired. Both energy drinks and alcohol are diuretic causing dehydration. Dehydration then increases the toxicity by hindering the metabolism of alcohol.