Energy Drinks: What You Need To Know

Energy drinks can seem like the perfect fix for when coffee just isn’t enough. Cheaper than a coffee and very accessible, these caffeine drinks can be found in many work vending machines. 

Clever marketing sells the promise of an energy boost to keep going and push through the demands of daily life, no wonder energy drinks are the fastest growing beverages on the global market!

What the marketing fails to show is that there are serious and harmful ramifications for those who consume these beverages - many of who are children and adolescents as recent studies showing that 30-50% of consumption is from this age group.  Due to the unregulated and often misleading labels on these products, the warnings are not well advertised and the addicted effect of caffeine and taurine can lead to over consumption and side effects below.

  • Heart palpitations or increased heart-rate
  • Heart attack
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Energy fluctuations
  • Insomnia

Natural Alternatives:

Drinks:

Kombucha, cider (alcohol free), Green tea, black coffee, electrolyte replenishing drinks or Berocca are all great alternatives that will allow you to stay focused and protect your heart too. Instead of cutting all caffeine out of your life in one go, try moving from energy drinks to another alternative, then lessen your consumption to one caffeinated beverage per day, and even less, a few times per week, if you can.

Foods:

Try replacing your energy drink with a piece of fruit for a natural sugar boost or a handful of nuts as cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are high in magnesium, which helps to convert sugar to energy. 

Sleep:

If you are not getting enough sleep as a result of too much caffeine being consumed during the day, you will end up in a bad cycle of fatigue and then feeling like you need caffeine to pick you up.

Make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep between 7-9 hours long. To avoid laying awake at night, caffeine should be avoided after lunch-time.

 

A word on alcohol and energy drinks:

This dangerous but popular combination has become a hit for anyone after a long day who hits the club. Vodka mixed with an energy drink, for example, is a poor choice due to the high levels of caffeine plus an alcohol equals a real danger of seizures.