Beware the Hazards of Energy DrinksPublished on Oct 18, 2013
It’s that time again: the mid-semester slump. Energy levels are low and free time is scarce. You could find yourself reaching for an energy drink to just get through the afternoon…or stay up all night. But energy drinks and shots definitely have their drawbacks and can have lasting effects on your health. Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you want to down three Red Bulls in one night.
- Caffeine toxicity: Energy drinks and shots contain roughly twice the amount of caffeine of a regular cup of coffee. A regular 24-ounce Monster energy drink contains 240 milligrams of caffeine. I don’t know about you, but coffee already turns me into a basket of jitters. In some cases, overconsumption of caffeine can lead to heart palpitations, sweating and other unpleasant physical symptoms. In the long-term, consuming large amounts of caffeine damages the central nervous system and could lead to lasting anxiety problems. It’s all about moderation.
- Loaded with additional stimulants. I know it’s crazy, but on top of the insane amounts of caffeine found in energy drinks, several other ingredients also have stimulating effects. Can you say sensory overload? The body really isn’t meant to handle processing several stimulants at once.
- Overdose may lead to death. Unsafe energy drink consumption has been linked to hospital visits and even death. While the Food and Drug Administration admits that it has not yet been proven that energy drinks are the cause of heart-related deaths, they have been cited in nearly 20,000 hospital visits nationwide.
- Energy drinks + alcohol=danger. For those over 21, if you are ever tempted to use an energy drink as a mixer: don’t. First off, the combo of caffeine and alcohol actually hinders your ability to focus. Many people believe they’re sober when under the influence of both, even if they are not, which can put you in a very compromised situation. You’d be better off with a good ol’ cup o’ joe. But, let’s just keep it to one or two, okay?