They’ll give you a push through your afternoon slump, but are the benefits of energy drinks really worth some of their side effects? Here are just eight dangers associated with Red Bull and other caffeine-loaded liquids.
Paresthesia is the sensation of tingling, prickling or numbness in the extremities. It’s often accompanied by a jittery feeling that crawls over your skin and makes you anxious for no apparent reason. Blame the uncontrolled and unregulated caffeine content of modern energy drinks.
Even young, healthy individuals are at an increased risk of cardiac arrest when they consume energy drinks. Why? According to the Journal of Amino Acids, they can increase heart contractions to extreme and dangerous levels. This interferes with regular myocardial function and affects your overall cardiovascular health.
Energy drinks are full of sugar. Even the diet brands contain aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, and those aren’t good for you either. While there’s no concrete evidence linking sugar to Type II diabetes, if you want to keep your glucose levels under control, it’s a good idea to avoid Rock Stars.
Everyone knows not to drink coffee before bed, but few ever think about the ramifications of downing an energy drink late in the afternoon. Caffeine can stay in your system up to 14 hours, which in turn can cause insomnia and other sleep disorders when your body just won’t obey your mind’s commands to rest.
Another side effect of too much sugar, energy drinks are terrible for your teeth. How often do you brush after indulging in a quick jolt of 5 Hour Energy? When’s the last time you used mouthwash after a Nos? Beware of the citrus acid in most energy drinks that will strip the enamel right off your teeth.
According to the Journal of Addiction Medicine, people who regularly consume energy drinks are at a much higher risk of drug and alcohol abuse. The next time you joke about being “addicted” to Monster, consider the fact that it could be an omen.
Are you on any prescription medication? Some of the ingredients in energy drinks can negatively interact with brands like Prilosec and Lipitor, causing strong side effects and even serious health conditions. If you can’t quit the energy drinks, at least talk to your doctor about the potential risks of mixing them with meds.
One of the most common consequences of too much caffeine, migraines can strike anyone at anytime at any age. Why would you want to court them with a high consumption of energy drinks? Save yourself all the pain, nausea and light sensitivity by avoiding caffeinated drinks if you’re prone to headaches.
These are just a few reasons to say no to Red Bull and all his followers. The next time you need help staying awake for your morning classes, reach for the orange juice instead.
Information provided by Eastgate Dental Centre, a Grimsby dentist.
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