There have been various different trends for food and drink that we have seen over the years. Nowadays energy drinks are being considered power- inducing beverages, which are becoming increasingly popular among teens as well as adults. According to Gulf News, the UAE alone consumes 12 million liters of energy drinks every year. It would seem that consumers are totally unaware of the hazards associated with their consumption.
Energy Drinks: The Silent Health Hazard
Considering the high consumption, it might be fair to assume that consumers in the UAE may consider these caffeine bombs to be simple beverages that contain vitamins and chemicals, which will boost up their energy level instantly. However, although Red bull, Monster Drink, Power Horse and most other energy drinks contain more or less the same ingredients, the predominant ones are sugar in excessive amounts and caffeine.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a drug that stimulates our brain. It can be safe for most adults in moderation, when found in chocolates, for example, but large doses are unsafe and can cause severe side effects. Most energy drinks have as much caffeine as five cups of coffee.
Reported effects of caffeine can be broken down into moderate and serious:
Moderate effects of caffeine include: Headaches, jitteriness, restlessness, insomnia, difficulty concentrating and mild stomach upsets.
Severe effects of caffeine include: Increased heart rate, sleep deprivation, continuous stomach problems and depressive symptoms.
Furthermore, there is no specific regulation that requires the manufacturer to clearly label the amount of caffeine used in making a particular energy drink. This can cause severe harm to your body without you even knowing it.
Almost all energy drinks contain herbal stimulants such as Ginseng, which can enhance the effects of caffeine, whereas the herb Guarana contains double the amount of caffeine found in the regular coffee beans.
Sugar a large part of the “buzz”.
Almost all energy drinks, except those labeled “sugar free” are high in sugar. The amount of sugar in one standard can (240-250ml) varies from 5 to 8 teaspoons, which equals 110-140 calories.
The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for sugar is approximately 6-7 teaspoons a day. That means one can of an energy drink contains more sugar than you can safely consume in an entire day.
Sugar gets absorbed into your bloodstream much faster than any other energy source. It over-stimulates the brain and gives you a quick jolt. However, as anyone who has been on a sugar high knows, a crash always follows sooner or later. Once the peak energy level subsides, the individual then gets lethargic and dizzy. It also weakens the immune system of our body. Excess sugar in the diet has also been linked with cavities, obesity and aging.
Remember: “You can increase your power without dangerous drinks. All you need to do is eat well–balanced meals, drink plenty of fluids, and exercise regularly.”