An energydrink is a beverage that contains ingredients to increase the drinker’s energy.They may or may not be carbonated. Most of the popular energy drinks containingredients such as caffeine, B vitamins, and various types of sugars whilesome may contain certain ingredients like taurine, glucuronolactone, guarana,ginseng, ginkgo biloba extract and L-carnitine.
Caffeine stimulates neurons inthe brain to keep us alert, releasing adrenaline, which sends a signal to theliver to pump more glucose into the bloodstream. With more glucose in the bloodstreamand body, our brain is tricked into believing that we have more energy than wereally do. Adrenaline makes heart beats faster and dilates the eyes.
Energydrinks can cause some people to miss sleep since caffeine blocks the effects ofadenosine, a brain chemical that helps us sleep and that can lead to insomnia, interferingwith the ability to perform concentration heavy tasks. Consuming too muchcaffeine can produce a diuretic effect, which is also a cause of dehydration,anxiety, and irritability from too much of the stimulant. Also panic attacksand migraine headaches can occur from the caffeine withdrawal. Taurine, anamino acid, regulates skeletal muscle contraction and may reduceexercise-induced damage thus encouraging improved athletic performance. Alsonormal people who drink many energy drinks will have increased heart rates upto an hour later. People with certain heart problems can undergo cardiac arrestafter having too many energy drinks.There is a study which shows the connectionbetween energy drinks and cardiac problems. Another component, glucuronolactoneclaims to favor the body’s natural defense mechanism but little research hasbeen done and so it is still unknown whether this compound is harmful orbeneficial .
B vitamins are water-soluble vitamins required as coenzymes forproper cell function. Because of the large amounts of sugar in these energydrinks, B vitamins are needed to transform those sugar into energy. Guarana isa tropical fruit rich in caffeine and it is used to increase energy.However,sinceguarana contains caffeine adding it willincrease the overall amount of caffeine in the energy drinks. Ginseng, a popularherb, is also included in some energy drinks. Like guarana, the amount ofginseng in the energy drinks is not enough to cause a striking effect. Ginkgobiloba extract has been reported to have antioxidant properties. However, nowell-conducted research has shown that it has important clinical effects onhealthy or ill persons.
L-Carnitine, a compound made in the liver and kidneys,increases metabolism. It also increases maximal oxygen consumption and lowerthe respiratory quotient, increasing lipid metabolism and affects recovery fromexercise stress. Sugars are the basic currency of energy in the body, withglucose being the main carbohydrate that can easily be oxidized by the musclesfor energy synthesis. However, long-term exposure of the body to excesses ofsimple sugars is associated with obesity and insulin resistance.
Over time,cells become unable to secrete sufficient insulin to maintain normal bloodglucose levels eventually wearing out the insulin-producing cells of thepancreas, which leads to type 2 diabetes. Heavily consuming these energy drinksmay result in liver or nerve injury, various cardiovascular problems, seizuresand ultimately death. While energy drinks may provide short and rapid effectsbut in the long term they are not actually good for our body.