Energy drinks may be popular - the global energy drink market was worth $39 billion in 2013, and is expected to reach $72 billion by 2024 - but they have earned a bad rep among health experts. According to the World Health Organization, they “may pose a danger to public health.”
However, the American Beverage Association stands by the safety of energy beverages, indicating that many of their ingredients are also commonly found in food items and have been rigorously studied for safety.
So, are energy drinks safe? Keep reading to learn the possible effects of energy drinks on the body.
Energy Drinks Can Cause Dehydration
The main source of the jolt of energy that you feel in most energy beverages is Caffeine. Rockstar Energy, Monster Energy, and NOS Energy all have about 160 mg of Caffeine in a single 16-ounce can. Red Bull has 80 mg of Caffeine in an 8.4-ounce can. (For comparison, an 8-ounce cup of java usually contains 80 to 100 mg of Caffeine) Caffeine has a natural diuretic effect, which means it increases the amount of water and salt that your body releases.
When consumed in excess amounts, Caffeine can lead to extreme dehydration. It can be particularly harmful in individuals who drink these products for the first time and don’t know to compensate with extra H2O. The FDA’s official stance is that healthy adults should not consume more than 400 mg of caffeine per day, which is roughly four cups of coffee.
Energy Drinks Can Increase Heart Rate
As a diuretic, this popular stimulant also poses a heart rate risk. According to a recent 2019 study in the Journal of the American Heart Foundation, healthy adults who consumed 32 ounces of energy drinks in an hour experienced abnormal heart activity and higher blood pressure four hours later - and that’s not the first research on energy drinks and the heart…
In 2015, the Canadian Journal of Cardiology published a comprehensive study that reviewed the incidences of cardiac events after energy beverage consumption among adolescents. They found that energy drink abuse amongst teens caused an increased risk of cardiac events, especially in those with underlying heart conditions. There were even some cases of energy drink products causing changes in heart rhythm among teens with healthy hearts.
Energy Drinks Can Cause Anxious Feelings
Caffeine blocks adenosine, the chemical of the brain that signals feelings of fatigue. In appropriate doses, this block triggers the body’s fight-or-flight response, releasing adrenaline, and ultimately increasing performance. But in higher doses, it can actually trigger Caffeine-induced anxiety.
While there are many mental benefits to Caffeine, high doses are known to induce anxiety symptoms, and people with social anxiety disorder and panic disorder are especially sensitive. The Caffeine-induced symptoms include:
Fast heart rate
Additionally, Caffeine is a known natural diuretic, which can also cause dehydration and is directly linked to anxiety.
Energy Drinks Can Cause Insomnia and Sleep Irregularity
Caffeine takes several hours to wear off at appropriate doses and much longer at higher doses. Some popular energy drinks can contain up to 500mg of caffeine in a single can. Caffeine in these excess amounts can make it extremely difficult to sleep at the end of the day, even if it’s been hours since you’ve consumed it.
Energy Drinks Can Cause Jitters And a Crash
The synthetic Caffeine in most energy drinks will absorb through the digestive system much faster than naturally-occurring plant Caffeine. This means a quicker spike, and consequently, a harsher crash.
These popular energy drinks are also rarely low-calorie and low-sugar. Some even have several times more than the daily recommended intake of sugar. This factor, combined with the fast-acting synthetic Caffeine bomb found in many popular energy drinks, often leads to inevitable jitters, crashes, nervousness, stress, and even a lack of focus.
Healthy Energy Drinks
There are a ton of energy drinks on the market. Many of them are made with a ridiculously large dose of synthetic Caffeine and massive amounts of sugar. As we mentioned, synthetic Caffeine is absorbed by the body much faster than Caffeine from natural sources, so when drinking a commercial energy drink, it’s likely that you’ll experience some of the side effects listed above - especially if the Caffeine content is above 400mg.
In addition, the amount of added sugar in these popular energy drinks is usually well over the recommended daily limit of 24 grams (for comparison, a single serving of a Monster Energy drink contains 40 grams of sugar). Too much of anything is never a good thing, but this is especially true for sugar consumption. Experts believe that sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
So, are all energy drinks bad?
No. In fact, there are many healthier energy drinks on the market, like the ones found at Proper Wild. These powerful energy shots are 100% plant-based and are made with zero grams of added sugar. Proper Wild uses organic Caffeine from green tea to provide sustainable energy all day long - without the jitters or crash commonly associated with synthetic Caffeine consumption. When looking for healthier energy drinks, stick with companies like Proper Wild that actually care about your health.
Energy drinks are extremely effective in providing a quick boost of energy when you need it most. However, not all beverages are created equal. Most energy drinks on the market today are made with synthetic Caffeine and a ton of sugar; which can come with a hefty list of unwanted side effects.
If you are in need of extra energy, but want to avoid the infamous Caffeine crash or anxious feelings, give a plant-based Proper Wild energy shot a try. Proper Wild only uses clean ingredients - no preservatives and no artificial sweeteners. With 2 times more Caffeine than a shot of espresso and 15 times more L-Theanine than a cup of green tea, after drinking just one tasty shot, you’ll immediately notice the difference that clean energy can make!
Give Proper Wild's Energy Shots a try!