NO, energy drinks are NOT healthy. More and more brands appear in the market offering a product that, they say, increases your energy, activates your mind and makes you feel full of vitality. But at what cost? Many people consider that an energy drink is even healthy and they take it during sports or physical exercise. Big mistake! In no way do energy drinks resemble the isotonic drinks that athletes really take to replace liquids and mineral salts that can be lost during training.
What exactly are energy drinks?
If you had ever asked yourself the question “Are energy drinks healthy?” the answer is no. These stimulant drinks are created by components such as caffeine, sugars, carbonated water and taurine, as well as additives that give it a specific flavor and color. The result achieved with all this is a drink that increases our energy (due to the great contribution in caffeine) and that also has a sweet and pleasant taste thanks to the large amount of additives with which it is made.
Although the marketing campaigns include these drinks with the name of “energy”, the truth is that they do not provide us with energy but only stimulate us due to the caffeine with which they are made. In fact, since 2011, the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) does not allow manufacturers to indicate that their drinks are “energizing” because it has not been proven to be able to improve memory, reaction capacity or performance.
Energy drinks vs. isotonic drinks
We do not have to confuse energy drinks with isotonic drinks because it is NOT the same. The first, as we have said, are made from caffeine or taurine and other components that stimulate our body so we are awake and alert for longer.
However, isotonic drinks are those that are designed especially for athletes. These also contain a large amount of sugar but, nevertheless, the contribution in caffeine is not at all similar. In addition, they do not contain taurine or other chemical components that fill us with toxins and prevent the proper functioning of our body.
The isotonic drinks are designed, above all, to replace the liquids and mineral salts that are lost when we train and, therefore, are recommended so that people who practice sports can restore the loss of salts.
Drinks with a lot of sugar
But why are not energy drinks healthy? There are several reasons that answer this question and, first of all, it is a very high sugar product. In fact, in some of these cans we can get to find up to 20 teaspoons of sugar, an amount too high for our body.
Remember that sugar is an additive that can be very harmful to health, especially if we consume it in excess. Some of the conditions that may be affected by excessive sugar consumption are: obesity, type 2 diabetes, and caries in the diet.
Energy drinks contain a lot of caffeine
Another reason why energy drinks are not healthy is because they are very rich in caffeine, a component that, taken in excess, can seriously damage our health causing situations such as the following:
- Imbalances in blood pressure
- Nausea or vomiting
Keep in mind that in one of these cans (250 ml) there are usually 100 mg of caffeine, double what is normally contained in other soft drinks such as cola. Although caffeine can be a beneficial component taken very punctually, the truth is that when it exceeds its consumption can lead to cardiac complications and end up affecting, also, our nervous system.
Dangers of excessive consumption of energy drinks
As we have seen, the excess of sugars and caffeine are the two main factors that cause health complications in our body. Below we will detail everything that can happen if we consume energy drinks on a regular basis so that, so, understand everything that can be affected by this bad habit.
One of the dangers of drinking energy drinks is that we are overweight or obese. Keep in mind that excess sugar in the body ends up accumulating as saturated fat and, therefore, causes our body to gain weight gradually. These drinks are very rich in calories and very low in nutrients, so they are a real caloric pump that we will hardly process.
It affects the cardiac system
Excessive consumption of caffeine directly affects cardiovascular health by causing the pulse to accelerate and, therefore, our heart pumps blood more quickly. This can cause the appearance of palpitations, respiratory problems and pain in the rib cage; it can even be the case that continued consumption can cause a heart attack.
Damage to the nervous system
Caffeine is also a component that alters the natural state of our nervous system causing conditions such as spasms, tremors, sweats, and so on. This can also end up affecting our nighttime sleep, causing us not to rest deeply or we may even suffer from insomnia because we have taken an excess of caffeine. Anxiety or irritability are also situations that can occur because of a mismatch in the nervous system.
It can cause addiction
Sugar is addictive, in fact, it is one of the most addictive substances that exist today. And, as we have already said, energy drinks are very rich in sugar, therefore, in the long run we can establish an addiction relationship with this type of product that can even provoke an anxiety picture such as withdrawal syndrome. If we stop consuming said product.
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