Energy drinks refers to soft drinks that contain caffeine in addition with other different ingredients such as taurine, guarana, and group of B vitamins, and are aimed to provide its consumers with extra amount of energy. The first energy drink was coined in the U.S. in 1949 by “Dr. Enuf”.
Energy drinks have benefits as well as harms to human beings. Some of the benefits are as follows:
• The high amount of caffeine in energy drinks provides the consumer with the useful effects of improved memory, elevated mood and increased alertness.
• The uptake of energy drinks can significantly improve physical and mental health.
• Energy drinks caused a noticeable increase in reaction performance during exercise,
• Energy drinks also improve driving ability when tired.
• Energy drink significantly increase aerobic endurance and aerobic performance on cycle ergometers
• They also decrease mental fatigue during long periods of concentration.
• Energy drinks come in a multiple flavors and options.
• There are many zero calorie energy drinks available that deliver the caffeine without having calories and sugar.
Besides having benefits, energy drinks have adverse effects on our bodies. Some of these are mentioned below:
• There is increase in heart rate and arterial blood pressure after consumption of energy drinks.
• There is a strong relationship between energy drink overconsumption and arterial dilatation, dissection and rupture of large arteries and aneurysm formation.
• High caffeine intake leads to acute and chronic daily headaches.
• Consumers usually develop symptoms of caffeine intoxication that include anxiety, muscle twitching, gastrointestinal upset, restlessness, insomnia, and periods of inexhaustibility.
• High energy drink intake may increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes as those drinks are having high sugar content usually in the of 21 g to 34 g per oz.
• Energy drinks consumption was linked with about a 2.4-fold increase in dental erosion due to low PH and high sugar content of the drinks.
• Caffeine also leads to sodium losses in urine, which affects the plasma volume and results in alteration of cardiovascular performance during exercise.
• The consumption of energy drinks also lead to decreased bone levels, irritability and hypertension.
• One of the harmful effects also includes the release of stress hormones, allergic reactions and addiction to energy drinks.
Different soft drinks have different ingredients. List of ingredients that are found in different energy drinks are mentioned below:
• B vitamins
• Glucuronolactone (DGL)
• Yerba Mate
• Acai berry
• Ginkgo Biloba
• Milk thistle
• Artificial sweeteners
• Many preservatives and coloring agents (Citric acid, Sodium citrate, Sodium benzoate, Potassium sorbate, Caramel color, Benzoic acid, Sorbic acid)
The above mentioned ingredients are overall ingredients founds in energy drinks. Proper proportion of ingredients of energy drinks like “Red bull” is: Caffeine (250 ml contains 80mg), sugars(11g/100ml), taurine (0.4%), group of B vitamins( niacinamide or vitamin B3, pantothenic acid or vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12), flavorings, carbonated water, baking soda and magnesium carbonate and alpine water and the ingredients of “Lemon Malt” are: malt, hops, sugars (7g/100ml), natural lemon flavor, citric acid, sodium benzoate and carbonated water.
After knowing about the ingredients and harmful effects of energy drinks we should limit their use as they are not natural and leads to several health issues. Now days, energy drinks are more consumed in teenager especially the boys which leads to affect their reproductive systems. The use of energy drinks should be regulated by the government in order to protect the young generation from the adverse effects of energy drinks. There should be a ban on the supply of energy drinks to schools, colleges and universities in order to make their consumption limited.
The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) said the highly caffeinated drinks do not provide nutritional energy but rather lower the existing reserves. The large amount of caffeine, taurine and guarana stimulates the quick release of those existing reserves. PFA has ordered manufacturers of energy drinks – including Red Bull – to remove the word ‘energy’ from their packaging as those drinks are not the source of energy and they are misleading the consumers. Pakistan have also put ban on soft drinks supply at educational institutions as an initiative to limit their use.
So in order to be healthy every age group should limit the use of energy drinks as they causes more harm than benefits to our bodies.
• Reissig, C. J., Strain, E. C., & Griffiths, R. R. (2009). Caffeinated energy drinks—a growing problem. Drug and alcohol dependence, 99(1-3), 1-10.
• The European Commission on Food Safety. Opinion on Caffeine, Taurine and D-Glucurono- g -Lactone as constituents of so-called “energy” drinks. 1999
• Scholey, A. B., & Kennedy, D. O. (2004). Cognitive and physiological effects of an “energy drink”: an evaluation of the whole drink and of glucose, caffeine and herbal flavouring fractions. Psychopharmacology, 176(3-4), 320-330.
• Reyner, L. A., & Horne, J. A. (2002). Efficacy of a ‘functional energy drink’in counteracting driver sleepiness. Physiology & behavior, 75(3), 331-335.
• Kennedy, D. O., & Scholey, A. B. (2004). A glucose-caffeine ‘energy drink’ameliorates subjective and performance deficits during prolonged cognitive demand. Appetite, 42(3), 331-333.
• Kallmyer, T. (2016, August 3). “Top 10 Energy Drink Benefits.” Retrieved from www.caffeineinformer.com/energy-drink-benefits.
• Foster, J. (2018, July 18). “Energy Drink Ingredients and What They Do” Retrieved from https://www.caffeineinformer.com/energy-drink-ingredients.
• González, W., Altieri, P. I., Alvarado, E., Banchs, H. L., Colón, E., Escobales, N., & Crespo, M. (2015). Celiac trunk and branches dissection due to energy drink consumption and heavy resistance exercise: case report and review of literature. Boletin de la Asociacion Medica de Puerto Rico, 107(1), 38-40.
• Bedi, N., Dewan, P., & Gupta, P. (2014). Energy drinks: Potions of illusion. Indian pediatrics, 51(7), 529-533.
• Jovel, C. E., & Mejía, F. S. (2017). Caffeine and headache: specific remarks. Neurología (English Edition), 32(6), 394-398.
• Mora-Rodriguez, R., & Pallarés, J. G. (2014). Performance outcomes and unwanted side effects associated with energy drinks. Nutrition reviews, 72(suppl_1), 108-120.
• Li, H., Zou, Y., & Ding, G. (2016). Correction: Dietary Factors Associated with Dental Erosion: A Meta-Analysis. PloS one, 11(8), e0161518.
• Alsunni, A. A. (2015). Energy drink consumption: beneficial and adverse health effects. International journal of health sciences, 9(4), 468.
• Red Bull Energy Drink Ingredients. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://energydrink.redbull.com/ingredients-red-bull
• Murree Brewery Products. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.murreebrewery.com/products.html
• Zarar, S. (2017, August 11). “Punjab Food Authority Finally Bans Soft Drinks at Educational Institutes” Retrieved from https://propakistani.pk/2017/08/11/punjab-food-authority-finally-bans-soft-drinks-educational-institutes/
• Barker, M. (2018, May 4). “Pakistan province tells Red Bull and its rivals to drop ‘energy’ tag” Retrieved from https://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/pakistan-province-tells-red-bull-and-its-rivals-to-drop-energy-tag-1.2216308