Power Boosters

By on November 21, 2019
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Energy drinks may not be the miracle jump start they are made out to be

Energy drinks are beverages containing caffeine, taurine, vitamins, herbal supplements, and sugar or sweeteners. They are different from sports drinks and vitamin waters and are marketed as products to improve energy, stamina, athletic performance, and concentration.

Sports drinks are specially formulated to help people rehydrate during or after exercise. Next to multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by teens and young adults.

Energy drinks have no therapeutic benefits, and the known and unknown pharmacology of agents included in them, combined with reports of toxicity, raises concern for potentially serious effects in association with their use. What do energy drinks contain and what are the effects of these ingredients on health? Most energy drinks contain caffeine as the major ingredient. Many contain 70 to 80 mg per 8-oz serving, which is three times the concentration in soft soda drinks.

Caffeine is a powerful central nervous stimulant. There is limited data showing that energy drinks may temporarily improve alertness and physical endurance but not strength.

Healthy adults can tolerate caffeine up to 400 mg/day. Heavy consumption (1-5 gm per day), such as drinking energy drinks, has been associated with serious health consequences. Large amounts of caffeine cause disturbances in the rhythm of the heart, palpitations, elevated blood pressure, anxiety, sleep problems, digestive problems such as vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration.

High consumption of caffeine also reduces insulin sensitivity thereby predisposing a person to developing Type-2 diabetes. It may harm children’s cardiovascular and nervous systems.

Energy drinks often contain additional amounts of caffeine through additives such as guarana, a Brazilian plant whose beans contain about twice the amount of caffeine found in other coffee beans.

Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.

Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.

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