Energy drinks in different light

Energy drinks in different light

In today’s article we will focus on the topic of energy drinks, as in practice we meet more and more young people and children who like to consume them. We decided to cover this topic because only few people know what energy drinks are and how they affect our body.

Some history:

Employers in Japan wanted to keep their employees as fit as possible, so they could continue working and the average production would not decrease. However, they were only humans and often hard manual workers. Therefore, it is not surprising that, like any human being, they were subject to fatigue during physical exertion.

However, employers understandably didn’t like that, so they needed something that would keep workers awake longer and increase their performance. And so, in 1962 energy drinks came to world, in form we know them nowadays.

What exactly are energy drinks?

Energy drinks are non-alcoholic drinks that are sold for the purpose of increased energy, stamina, sports performance, or concentration. They differ from other soft drinks because of their high caffeine content (50 to 500 mg, Redbull 80) and are often supplemented with other substances as taurine, guarana, ginseng, and others.

These drinks represent a risk especially for young a healthy individual and can be one of the causes of obesity or cardiovascular diseases. They are becoming more and more popular among young people, with most of them consuming them mainly for the taste or combination with alcohol. Young adults make approx. 2/3 of the energy drink market.

What effect do they have on the human body?

Energy drinks have an effect to a certain extent on almost entire organism.

They affect, for example:

  • central nervous system
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • tooth decay
  • obesity
  • diabetes mellitus
  • ADHD

Energy drinks contain several components that independently cause body to become dependent on these substances. Their combination increases the risk of addiction. These are mainly caffeine, taurine and less significantly contained sugars.

 

 

Symptoms of overdose:

  • restlessness, anxiety, fear, panic disorders
  • insomnia
  • excessive sweating
  • high blood pressure, headaches, visual disturbances
  • heart rhythm disorders
  • heart failure, death
  • accelerated and shallow breathing to respiratory disorders

 

Withdrawal symptoms

  • redness in the face
  • excessive sweating
  • psychomotor restlessness
  • irritability, aggressiveness
  • confusion to hallucinations
  • limb tremors
  • nausea, vomiting

Interesting facts:

  • As of 2016, the global consumption of energy drinks was over 11 billion liters per year
  • Once can of coca cola contains about 30 mg of caffeine, a cup of coffee contains up to 100 mg of caffeine, and an energy drink has an average of 80 to 100 mg of caffeine
  • In some countries, the sale and consumption of energy drinks is prohibited under the age of 18, as in the case with tobacco products. For example, in Sweden, this limit is shifted to 15 years
  • In Denmark, Turkey and Uruguay there is a complete ban on the sale and consumption of energy drinks due to their negative impact on health

Sources:

  1. Kemps, E., Tiggemann, M., Cibich, M., & Cabala, A. (2019). Cognitive bias modification for energy drink cues. PLoS ONE, 14(12), e0226387.
  2. Simulescu, V., Ilia, G., Macarie, L., & Merghes, P. (2019). Sport and energy drinks consumption before, during and after training. Science & Sports, 34(1), 3–9.
  3. Statista Research Department (2016). Sales volume of energy drinks worldwide 2015/2018. Retrieved 19. 5. 2020 from the World Wide Web: https://www.statista.com/statistics/639965/sales-volumeenergy-drinks-worldwide
  4. Sýkorová, Lucia. 2020. Energetické nápoje: Ako ich zloženie vplýva na zdravie? + Riziká. In Zdravoteka. [online]