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Healthy Energy Drinks vs. Dangers of High-Sugar Beverages

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December 2020

Healthy Energy Drinks vs. Dangers of High-Sugar Beverages

If you often feel that you could use a quick energy boost, you might be tempted to take an energy drink to help you get through the day. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, energy drinks, along with multivitamins, are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by American teenagers and young adults.

There are many types of energy drinks available today, many with high sugar and caffeine content, but also healthy energy drinks such as coffee and tea.

Instead of making high-calorie and potentially dangerous drinks a normal habit, it is better to first tackle the underlying problems that you always find tiring. You can then consider giving yourself an extra boost by drinking a moderate amount of drinks, such as green tea, mate or organic coffee.

What are energy drinks?

Energy drinks are defined as drinks with a high content of stimulating ingredients, usually caffeine, but also sugar and often additional additives such as vitamins or carnitine, which are touted as products that can increase mental activity and physical performance.

Some energy drinks are sold as beverages, while others are considered food supplements. Some of the most popular energy drinks are Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, NOS and Amp. In addition to drinks, energy snacks such as shots, gum and chewing gum are now also available.

What are the ingredients normally found in these drinks? Among other things:

  • Sugar (A typical 16 ounce energy drink contains between 54 and 62 grams of added sugar, which is more than the maximum amount of sugar actually added recommended by most health authorities).
  • Caffeine
  • vitamins B6 and B12
  • amino acids, including taurine
  • Guarano/Brazilian Cocoa
  • Ginseng
  • Glucuronolacton
  • Johimbe
  • L-Carnitine
  • Bitter orange
  • Yerba-Mat
  • Ginkgo
  • St. John’s wort

Although many of the vitamins, minerals and herbs mentioned above can be useful on their own if used in the right amounts, the addition of large amounts of sugar and caffeine makes most energy drinks a bad choice.

Most manufacturers distinguish energy drinks from sports drinks, which are generally decaffeinated and contain electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, which supply the body with moisture. While sports drinks may seem the best alternative because they can help replace water and electrolytes lost during intense exercise, they are generally drinks that contain colorants, artificial flavorings and other ingredients you want to avoid.

Commercial energy drinking water hazard

Most people use energy drinks to increase their mental activity and physical performance, but are energy drinks harmful to you? Ultimately, it depends on the type – but most bottles sold in convenience stores are anything but a healthy choice.

Although some energy drinks contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other compounds that should make you feel alive, research shows that the stimulating effect of energy drinks is mainly related to caffeine. Moderate levels of caffeine can be good for most adults, but some people are sensitive to the effects of caffeine, including teenagers, children and the elderly.

Here are some potential dangers and side effects associated with energy drinks:

  • An overdose of caffeine: Most varieties contain between 70 and 240 milligrams of caffeine per drink, compared to about 35 mg of caffeine in a soft drink and 100 mg in an eight-gram cup of coffee. The daily consumption of various energy drinks can cause a rapid increase in caffeine intake, which can lead to a number of symptoms.
  • Fear, tremor and nervousness.
  • Heart rate, dysrhythmia, increase in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Sleep problems and insomnia.
  • digestive problems, including nausea, diarrhoea and loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Chest pain
  • Vertigo
  • Dependence on caffeine and sugar and therefore fatigue and headaches.
  • Weight increase due to high sugar and calorie consumption : A typical energy drink contains the same amount of calories and sugar as lemonade, which is associated with an increased risk of problems such as obesity and diabetes.
  • Wishes
  • Dental problems

It is estimated that one third of young people under the age of 17 regularly consume energy drinks. Approximately 25% of students consume alcohol with energy drinks and 42% of all emergency visits related to energy drinks contain a combination of these drinks with alcohol or drugs (such as marijuana or prescription drugs).

Consumption of these drinks, especially those with a high caffeine content (especially when mixed with alcohol), has a detrimental effect on the development of the brain and the cardiovascular system of young people. Beverages containing sugar and caffeine can also worsen symptoms in people with asthma, hypertension, anxiety, seizures and irritable bowel syndrome.

Healthy natural alternatives

Which energy drink is best for you? Examples of natural energy drinks that offer real health benefits and are less risky than most commercial energy drinks

  • Green tea is an energy drink that is probably associated with most metabolic effects, such as increasing energy, burning fat and reducing fat accumulation. Green tea naturally contains some caffeine, but less than coffee. It also contains a large number of antioxidants, such as catechins, which are effective against free radicals.
  • Match green tea is exceptionally rich in a composition called EGCG, which has a strengthening effect.
  • Normal coffee, which contains antioxidants and caffeine, is generally safe to drink in moderate amounts. For added benefit, drink unsweetened organic coffee.
  • Black tea is also rich in tannins and antioxidants and contains a little caffeine (less than coffee).
  • Yerba Mate, a variety of tea from South America, which has a greenish colour and an earthy, spicy taste. Contains polyphenols and other antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Which cheapest energy drink is also good for you? Think only of coffee and tea (preferably organic).

How many energy drinks can you drink in a day? For safety reasons, limit yourself to a few cups of coffee or tea a day, for example no more than three to five.

Other ways to increase energy levels

In addition to choosing healthy energy drinks instead of sweetened and processed drinks, you will also find other tips for increasing energy levels:

  • Sleep is enough – adults should aim for an average of seven to nine hours sleep to avoid sleep deprivation and feel as happy and productive as possible.
  • Exercise – Regular exercise can improve your mood and motivation and help you sleep better.
  • Try herbs like ginseng – Some herbs, including ginseng and ginkgo biloba, tend to make people happier, usually without serious side effects, when taken in the recommended doses.
  • Stress management – Chronic stress can recharge your energy, cause brain mist and disrupt your sleep. Try to reduce stress so that you can relax, for example through meditation, reading, journaling, aromatherapy, yoga, etc.
  • Nutrition that stimulates the brain – Anti-inflammatory and nutrient-rich foods give you the nutrients you need to feel as good as possible. Pay special attention to products such as leafy and other vegetables, high-quality meat and protein, eggs, wild fish, nuts, seeds, berries, cocoa, coffee, tea, herbs and spices.


  • Energy drinks are drinks that contain a large number of stimulating ingredients, usually caffeine and sugar, and are promoted as a way to increase mental activity and physical performance.
  • Although some of the ingredients in these drinks can be useful, such as B. certain herbs, amino acids and B vitamins, they usually contain large amounts of added sugar, calories and caffeine, which can cause side effects.
  • Types of energy drinks include Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, NOS and Amp. You can also try healthy energy drinks that can improve your mood and concentration without adding too much sugar to your diet, such as B. green tea, match tea, black tea, mate and coffee.