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How Energy Drinks Affect Your Health

The regular consumption of energy drinks can have an adverse impact on your physical, mental and emotional health. These drinks are full of sugar and caffeine. Energy drinks often contain other supplements that can lead to uncomfortable and potentially damaging side effects when consumed in excess.

How Energy Drinks Affect Your HealthHow many calories do you consume in a day? If you don’t count calories, keep track of the number of calories you drink on a daily basis. From juice to soda, what we drink can add a significant amount to our daily calorie intake.

Energy drinks often have 100 calories or more per serving. And it’s not just calories that can take a toll. Additives like caffeine and sugar can affect your overall health as well. Take a look at how many energy drinks you have during a normal day and consider making healthier choices.

Weight Gain

Dieters frequently avoid liquid calories. It turns out this practice does hold some truth. Energy drinks contain a large amount of sugar, meaning they’re also high in calories. In fact, energy drinks are every bit as high in calories as sodas, which happen to be the top source of added sugar for the average American diet.1 Unfortunately, these extra calories don’t make you feel any more satisfied, which is why they’re often referred to as “empty” calories. The end result of drinking so much sugar could be an increase in your weight over time.

Compromised Sleep Cycles

The occasional energy drink can provide a temporary energy boost. However, many energy drink fans slug down their favorite products on a daily basis. Rather than temporarily increasing energy, consuming a large amount of these drinks may actually create a long-term energy deficit. The extra caffeine makes it difficult to fall asleep at a reasonable hour, which in turn can throw off a healthy sleep cycle. And if your sleep cycles are consistently interrupted, you might become chronically sleep-deprived. If you consume energy drinks, it’s best to limit yourself to 16 ounces a day.2 Consume those 16 ounces several hours before you plan on going to bed.

Alcohol Poisoning

Energy drinks are often mixed with alcohol, which temporarily blunts the feeling of alcohol intoxication. People then consume more alcohol, making them even more intoxicated. The rapid consumption of alcohol and energy drinks can easily lead to alcohol poisoning, a dangerous and potentially deadly condition.

Dehydration

Energy drinks differ from sports drinks. Often, athletes will use sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade to hydrate themselves during intense practice sessions or competitions. The electrolytes contained in such beverages are thought to improve performance.

Consuming energy drinks in the midst of athletic activity doesn’t improve athletic performance. In fact, it could be potentially dangerous for athletes. The high levels of caffeine and sugar found in energy drinks actually have a dehydrating effect. Don’t mistake energy drinks for sport drinks. Avoid consuming them directly before, during or immediately after engaging in rigorous physical activity.

As with most drinks, energy drinks can be healthy when consumed in moderation. Keep your consumption below 16 ounces a day and avoid mixing these products with alcohol or exercise. If you follow these basic guidelines, you can enjoy energy drinks without worrying about adverse health effects.

1 Mayo Clinic, Dieting? Beware of liquid calories, 2011. 2 Mayo Clinic, Energy drinks: Do they really boost energy? 2012. The above is provided as general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or recommend treatment of any illness, disease or condition. You should consult a qualified medical professional if you have questions or need more information.
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