Many of us find that we just don’t get through the day without some kind of boost to help our energy. For the majority, that will mean turning to caffeine in some form. However, when we turn to caffeine in the form of energy drinks, we could be placing ourselves in harm’s way.
News that links as many as five deaths to Monster Energy drinks have pointed to potential flaws in this type of product.
It’s not just caffeine in these drinks: you are getting caffeine in combination with a host of ingredients such as taurine, glucuronolactone, B vitamins, guarana, ginseng, ginko biloba and others. At issue is that we simply don’t know what the interaction of all these ingredients could be – nor do we know how these ingredients might interact with other caffeine or substances already present in a person’s body.
Too much caffeine on its own can definitely affect individuals adversely. There is a condition known as caffeine intoxication, which is directly related to consuming too much caffeine, and this can result in racing heart, vomiting, low potassium in the body, heart attack and even seizures. Caffeine intoxication has been known to result in deaths.
Experts point out that your total caffeine intake in a day should be no more than 300 mg. However, some of the energy drinks on the market may have more caffeine than you think – consumer reports recent found that there can be more caffeine in an energy drink than is declared on the label.
It’s recommended that you never have energy drinks before working out. While athletes may be able to tolerate this practice, you can end up with an elevated heart rate and blood pressure just when you need your body to function optimally. High caffeine just before a workout could affect the arteries in your body, reducing their ability to ensure necessary blood flow, which could mean reduced oxygen and nutrients for your heart.
Mixing energy drinks with alcohol is particularly risky. You actually impair your brain function yet don’t look as drunk as other people, which can lead to faulty decision making and risky behaviours.