Q:

What are some pros and cons of consuming energy drinks?

A:

Quick Answer

Among the pros of energy drinks are increased alertness and productivity, while the cons include weight gain and cardiovascular issues. The consumption of energy drinks can also lead to unpleasant side effects such as anxiety, jitters and irritability.

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Full Answer

Energy drinks from brands such as Red Bull and Monster tend to have very high levels of caffeine or equivalent stimulants like guarana and ginseng. For some, this may lead to heart palpitations and high blood pressure, along with dehydration and insomnia. In light of their dehydrating effect, and contrary to common assumptions, energy drinks should not be combined with heavy physical labor or exercise, since such a combination risks severe dehydration.

Energy drinks are more convenient than coffee or tea, in that they provide an instant boost in a can. However, their marketing or packaging can be misleading. For instance, the can might display the caffeine content of one serving without making it immediately obvious that one "serving" equates to only half the can's contents. It therefore becomes more difficult to accurately moderate one's intake of stimulants.

It is common to use energy drinks as a mixer with alcohol, but this can lead to problems. Aside from the doubled dehydration, which further impairs the body's metabolizing of alcohol and leads to greater toxicity and hangover, the stimulant effect of energy drinks disguises the depressant effect of alcohol. As a result, people tend to drink more, having missed or overridden natural cues, like fatigue, to stop drinking.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the side effects of 5-Hour Energy?

    A:

    As with most other energy drinks that contain large quantities of caffeine, 5-Hour Energy can cause side effects that include insomnia, nervousness, elevated blood pressure, vomiting and rapid heartbeats. To minimize the possibility of getting these side effects, WebMD notes that manufacturer recommends consuming no more than two bottles in one day.

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  • Q:

    What will happen if I drink two, 5-hour energy drinks simultaneously?

    A:

    The science of energy drinks is still unsettled, especially for short-term effects. While a huge dose of caffeine may merely cause a serious case of the jitters, the long-term effects are far more problematic.

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  • Q:

    What are the ingredients in Rockstar energy drinks?

    A:

    The ingredients in Rockstar energy drinks are: high fructose corn syrup, taurine, carbonated water, citric acid, dextrose, guarana seed extract, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, ascorbic acid, sodium benzoate, caffeine, potassium sorbate, inositol, niacinamide, l-carnitine, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, milk thistle extract, calcium pantothenate, cyanocobalamin, Siberian ginseng root extract, pyridoxine hydrochloride and riboflavin. Depending on the flavor, the drink can contain 80 to 229 mg of caffeine per serving.

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  • Q:

    What are characteristics of the healthiest energy drinks?

    A:

    The healthiest energy drinks for adults contain low levels of caffeine, sugar and additives, and they supply their energy from ingredients other than sweeteners and artificial caffeine. Healthier sources of energy include green tea, green coffee beans, yerba mate, acerola cherries, goji berries and guayusa for their natural caffeine, vitamin and mineral content.

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