The Dangers of Energy Drinks

Energy drinks could be giving you more than just a boost of energy, including negative effects on blood pressure, heart rate, and brain function.

By Reader's Digest Editors

Your favorite energy drink may be giving you more than you bargained for with dangerous amounts of caffeine, sugar, and other ingredients that can cause more harm than good. Some research has shown that consuming energy drinks may have negative effects on blood pressure, heart rate, and brain function. Here are four things to think about when consuming energy drinks.

Sugar
The large amounts of sugar in energy drinks can lead to unnecessary spikes in blood sugar, dental health problems, and added weight gain. Be sure to check the label to see how much sugar is in your favorite drink. Compare it to a popular soda and you’ll find that often energy drinks contain even more sugar than a regular soda.

Dangers to kids
Kids who drink energy drinks are exposing themselves to the same high levels of caffeine and sugar than adults are. However, because they are growing, these dangers could have greater negative effects on their future health than adults. Talk to your kids about energy drinks and offer alternatives like water, fruit juice, or milk.

Dehydration
Large amounts of caffeine and sugar may lead to dehydration. A dehydrated body can’t perform at its best; whether your at your desk or on the playing field. If you do have an energy drink, try to follow it with a large glass of water to keep hydrated.

Think smart
Before you have an energy drink or give one to your kids, be sure to check the labels and think of alternative energy boost. Often adequate rest, water, light exercise, and natural energy derived from foods will give your body the fuel that it needs for ongoing health and performance.

Plus: 4 Safe Energy-Boosting Foods and Drinks

Sources: The New York Times and Livestrong.com

 

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  • Your Comments

    • A Teen

      If you drink them in moderation they are fine.