By jennylee | Category: Recipes & Kitchen Tips
In trying to keep up with the theme of last week in ingredients found in our children’s foods and snacks, I wanted to write about energy drinks. I am sure a lot of you have heard of Red Bull, Pimpjuice Extra Strength Energy Drink, Havoc Energy Drink, Jolt Cola, Rock Star, Java Monster, Starbucks Double Shot Light, Adreline Rush and many others.
But are they safe to drink? These types of drinks are popular especially among teens. Teens use them for late night studying and even by athletes who feel it will give them a boost in their performance. So are they safe?
Well to answer that question lets examine what is found in them? These energy drinks contain large doses of caffeine and other legal stimulants like ephedrine, guarana, and ginseng. Energy drinks may contain as much as 80 mg of caffeine, the equivalent of a cup of coffee. Compared to the 37 mg. of caffeine in a Mountain Dew, or the 23 mg. in a Coca-Cola Classic, that’s a big punch.
If you understand the human body you understand how the affects of too much andreline can lead to heart disease and different heart arrhythmias. Then giving your body shots of these chemicals that make your heart beat faster and work harder doesn’t seem too safe to me.
There has been a lot of recent teen athlete’s death in the media where a teen collapsed during a track meet or football game and all they could find in this otherwise healthy individual is that they had an energy drink before the competition. For those of you who are not aware, there is currently a fad where athletic teens will have an energy drink before competition to give them an extra boost of energy. However, this boost of energy can be deadly! Their hearts have not developed completely and running for example will automatically increase its rate. Now you add an energy drink that will increase it rate because of its contents and what you get is a deadly combination- an extreme heart rate and in turn a lot of work for their heart.
Brown University had the following to say “Individual responses to caffeine vary, and these drinks should be treated carefully because of how powerful they are. Energy drinks’ stimulating properties can boost the heart rate and blood pressure (sometimes to the point of palpitations), dehydrate the body, and, like other stimulants, prevents sleep. Energy drinks should not be used while exercising as the combination of fluid loss from sweating and the diuretic quality of the caffeine can leave the user severely dehydrated.
So next time you or child want to drink an energy drink like Red Bull because as their slogan says “gives you wings” and commercial depicts a character that as soon as he drinks it he gets wings and flys away to heaven, well it might do just that!
Like always please keep the comments coming! If there is also any topic you would like for me to address let me know J