Are energy drinks dangerous? The simple answer is – they can be, but don’t have to be. The reality is that not all energy drinks are created equal, some are packed with artificial sweeteners and preservatives which have known health issues. While others, like Proper Wild, are 100% plant-based and stay away from preservatives and artificial ingredients all together.
We’ve looked at the data and the most important thing is always consume energy drinks in moderation. If you have any existing health issues however, you should absolutely go speak with your doctor before deciding to consume energy drinks.
If you do end up deciding you want to use energy drinks, it’s important to understand their potential dangers. Energy drinks are not all bad, they do help provide energy and focus when you need it most but those benefits can also be accompanied with negative side effects. Here’s the top four dangers you need to be aware of according to the CDC:
1. Dehydration (not enough water in your body)
The main functional ingredient in almost every energy drink on the market, whether you're drinking a Monster Energy, Rockstar, Redbull or Proper Wild, is caffeine. Most energy drinks average between 100-200mg of caffeine, which compared to a cup of coffee 80-90mg can be a significant increase.
Caffeine also happens to cause a diuretic effect, which means it increases the salt and water your body releases, which means if you consume too much caffeine it could lead to dehydration.
The key to avoiding any dehydration side effects is just to make sure you compensate with drinking water. If you ever start to feel dehydrated which may show itself through a headache or fatigue – make sure you start drinking plenty of water.
2. Heart Complication (irregular heartbeat and heart failure)
First off, If you have any health or heart issues and you're concerned about drinking caffeine – please contact your doctor and discuss this with them.
The data shows that people at high risk for a heart attack should probably stay away from caffeine as it has the potential to be “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Caffeine causes short-term increases in blood pressure and sympathetic nervous activity that has the potential to trigger a heart attack.
If you're completely healthy however, you likely don’t have to worry about heart complications as long as you stay under the FDA’s daily recommended caffeine intake of 400mg.
3. Anxiety (feeling nervous and jittery)
Caffeine is a natural stimulant, which means if you already suffer from anxiety, caffeine can often amplify those feelings.
Caffeine also raises your blood pressure which can lead to a jittery feeling which sometimes feels similar to a frightening event.
Stimulates, like caffeine, typically also raise your “fight or flight” response, and research has shown that this can amplify your anxiety and even lead to an unwanted anxiety attack.
4. Insomnia (unable to sleep)
We all love caffeine for its energy and focus boosting benefits but it’s these benefits that can also make it hard to fall asleep at night.
Caffeine has been shown to lead to insomnia in people that consume it late at night or too much during the day. If you find yourself struggling to sleep you may need to cut back on your caffeine intake and avoid consuming caffeine 5-6 hours before you plan to sleep.
The bottom line is that caffeine is one of the safest natural stimulants on the market when used in moderation. The FDA recommends a healthy adult can consume up to 400mg daily. That does not mean however that caffeine is without its dangers. As we’ve looked at above, caffeine does have it’s dangers, ranging from dehydration to Insomnia. If you’re having negative side effects from caffeine or you have concerns before starting to consume it, you should immediately speak with your doctor.