Energy Drinks: Good For Energy, Bad For Your Health?
Life is crazy, right? Our schedules have us going 100 miles a minute and sometimes it feels like 24 hours isn’t enough in a day. So what do we do? We run to the fridge and grab a Red Bull, hoping it will give us the boost we need to help us get through the day. They may help you now, but are energy drinks helping you in the long run?
Tempting...but is it worth it?
Here’s the thing. It’s understandable as to why energy drinks have become the beverage of choice. You may need a little pick-me-up from pulling an all-nighter, or maybe you’re a little tired before practice. So, you grab one and slurp it down. Although you may feel a jolt of energy now, they aren’t necessarily good for your body. If you are using them to try and get a little energy boost before practice, it’s important to realize that although you may feel energized, drinks like Monster, Full Throttle, or fan fav Red Bell aren’t designed to help you feel good when practice is done. These drinks aren’t made to replenish and rehydrate your body like sports drinks such as Gatorade, Powerade, or good old fashioned water. So if you can, try to make the switch back to simple thirst quenchers!
The appeal of these energy drinks is that they are always accessible. You can probably find them in your campus cafeterias, on local drug and food store shelves, and even at some promotional events on campus. However, according to an article by Time Heathland called, “Energy Drinks May Harm Health, Especially for Children,” these drinks aren’t always regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because they are referred to as “dietary supplements.” In terms we can understand that means the people who make these drinks don’t always have to play by the same rules when it comes to ingredients. The main ingredient being caffeine, which is one of the main reasons you’re drinking them, right?
Now none of this is meant to scare you, because we all need Red Bull’s “wings” to help us get through the day sometimes. After all, we are only human and it’s important to know the facts. Having an energy drink every now and then is perfectly fine, but when consumed regularly and over a long period of time, it can do more harm than good. It can affect how your body regulates sugars from food. Even more shocking is that some of the energy drinks we love and adore have up to three times more caffeine in them than the average can of soda.
The caffeine intake, among other ingredients often found in these drinks, can often keep you up at night. This may be exactly what you want at the time, but if you’re drinking a couple a night it could end up having the opposite effect. Drinking them to keep you awake may ultimately cause you to become more tired, creating a monster of a vicious cycle – pun intended.
What should you take away from all of this? Energy drinks are OK to consume when you feel it is truly necessary. It is all fine and dandy to gulp one down while cramming for a history midterm or maybe even one between your back-to-back three-hour seminars. Sometimes tan energy boost every once in a while can be a necessity. Just remember that similar to life, too much of a good thing can sometimes be a bad thing – and these drinks are no exception! The key is to become aware of the effects the beverages can have on you. If you are reading this with a energy drink in your hand, it’s OK, don’t freak out! Just be sure to wait a few days before you indulge in an energy drink again!