The major contents of energy drinks include caffeine, taurine, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and B3 – which when consumed at high rate, can be harmful to the health.
Caffeine is the major content found in energy drinks and this is because of its stimulating effects of the nervous system which gives the body a sense of alertness.
In a can of energy drink, there’s about 70 to 200 milligrams of caffeine.
Excessive consumption of energy drinks can lead to:
1. Cardiac Arrest: While our Caffeine Calculator can show people how many energy drinks at one time would be lethal, this formula doesn’t apply to everyone. Those with underlying heart conditions have gone into cardiac arrest after just a few energy drinks. Before drinking energy drinks or caffeine, be sure to know your heart’s health.
A new study showed that energy drinks cause more forceful heart contractions, which could be harmful to some with certain heart conditions.- One study showed that between 2009 and 2011 there were 4854 calls to poison control centers regarding energy drinks. 51% of these calls were involving children.
2. Headaches and Migraines: Too many energy drinks can lead to severe headaches from the caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Changing the amount of caffeine you ingest daily can cause more frequent headaches.
3.Increased Anxiety: Those with 2 different genetic variations in their adenosine receptors are prone to feeling increased anxiety when consuming caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks. Larger doses of caffeine can even spur on full blown panic attacks. The research.
4. Insomnia: Energy drinks do a good job of keeping people awake, but when abused, they can cause some people to miss sleep altogether. This lack of sleep causes impaired functioning and can be dangerous to drive or perform other concentration heavy tasks.
5. Type 2 Diabetes: Because many energy drinks are also very high in sugar, they can eventually wear out the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, which leads to type 2 diabetes.
6. Drug Interaction: Some of the ingredients in energy drinks can interact with prescription medications especially medications taken for depression.
7. Addiction: People can become addicted to caffeine and energy drinks. This can lead to lack of functioning when unable to have the energy drink or a financial stress from having to buy several energy drinks daily.
8. Risky behavior: There was a study published in The Journal of American College Health which showed that teens are more likely to take dangerous risks when high on caffeine. This could result in injury or legal trouble.
9. Jitters and Nervousness: Too much caffeine from energy drinks causes some people to shake and be anxious. This can interfere with performing needed tasks or cause emotional issues. A study out of Perth, Australia found that even just one 250ml energy drink can increase anxiety in young men.
10. Vomiting: Too many energy drinks can lead to vomiting. This causes dehydration and acid erosion of teeth and esophagus if frequent.
11. Allergic Reactions: Because of the many ingredients in energy drinks reactions could occur, from minor itching to airway constriction.
12. High Blood Pressure: Caffeinated products like energy drinks can elevate a person’s blood pressure. For those with normal blood pressure, this isn’t concerning, but those with already elevated blood pressure could be placing themselves at risk of stroke and other health problems related to hypertension if they consume too many energy drinks in a short period of time. A more recent study conducted by The Mayo Clinic found that Rockstar Energy Drink (240 mg version) significantly raised the blood pressure of study participants compared to the placebo drink. Overall, there was a 6.4% increase in average blood pressure. More about the study here.
13. Niacin Overdose: Niacin (Vitamin B3) is placed in most energy drinks at levels that cause no harm and can even be therapeutic. However, if a person is taking additional supplements containing Niacin, overdosing on the vitamin is possible when consuming energy drinks in addition to those supplements. Symptoms include; Skin flushing, dizziness, rapid heart rate, vomiting, itching, gout, and diarrhea.
14. Stress Hormone Release: A study conducted by The Mayo Clinic found that a 240 mg version of Rockstar Energy Drink caused an increase in stress hormone release. The average norepinephrine level of the participants increased by 74% while the placebo only caused a 31% increase.