College of DuPage Nursing Studen Katlyn Hanson asks if you have ever been so tired you feel you need coffee or an energy drink to get you going?
Energy drinks are a very popular amount for young adults, especially students to keep themselves energized throughout the day. What is in an energy drink you ask? According to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC 2020), it contains large amounts of caffeine, sugars, and legal stimulants such as taurine, guarana, and carnitine. These stimulants heighten your alertness, increase heart rate, blood pressure, and even your breathing. These stimulants can have a dangerous effect on the nervous system.
What are Potential Dangers of Energy Drinks?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH, 2020) between 2007-2011, the number of energy drink-related visits to emergency departments doubled. In 2011, 1 in 10 of these visits resulted in hospitalization. Many college students consume alcohol and energy drinks together which becomes a more significant risk of hospitalization! As much as they can be tasty, you do not realize how much it dehydrates you and heightens your anxiety making you feel very nervous or jittery. You can imagine college students let alone young adults already have increase anxiety so consuming these beverages only makes it more intense. The biggest issue that encourages people to drink energy drinks is the lack of sleep and energy. Energy drinks induce insomnia preventing you from falling asleep easier or becoming tired. These side effects just pile one by one on top of each other putting you at risk for irregular heartbeats or heart failure. You need to second guess consuming these drinks or cut down on the amount of your intake to promote your overall health.
How much caffeine is safe to consume?
According to Mayo Clinic (Mayo clinic 2020) up to 400 mg of caffeine, a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. You have to keep in mind the amount of caffeine that varies between energy drinks. The American Academy of Pediatrics explained there is no place for energy drinks in the diets of adolescents. (CDC 2020) Even though many of us may feel tired, unmotivated on certain days. or sluggish…you must be attentive to the amount of caffeine you consume to protect your body from certain health complications.
Education and Substitutional Options
What can you do to create better options for individuals? Teachers and parents can educate their children or students about the dangers of consuming energy drinks and the impact it can have on their health. Too much caffeine can become very dangerous especially when consumed in large amounts. Families and school staff can switch out subtitles like milk, water, juice, or healthier beverages instead of energy drinks. If you revise certain nutritional standards you can change the popularity of these dangerous drinks. Energy drinks are promoted so often by celebrities and athletes that students become fogged by the potential dangers of these beverages. Everyone can become more proactive by not consuming energy drinks and make healthier choices in place of these drinks. Promote the benefits of safer options and spread the word on why you decided to take initiative and stop drinking energy drinks in front of your friends.
In the End
Overall, you should care about your overall health and wellness doing the best you to avoid stimulants like energy drinks. An impacting story I would like to share with you all was when my 32-year-old cousin consumed two Monster energy drinks a day for years. He never had an issue and was wired at all times to keep himself awake but losing sleep at night from the stimulation. He woke up one-day feeling chest tightness and pressure on his chest and immediately went to the emergency room concerned about why he was having these pains so young. The energy drink consumption caused an almost heart attack scares for him at 32-years-young. This goes to show you the dangers that energy drinks will cause at any age. He immediately stopped drinking them and started drinking green tea in low amounts as a substitute for the caffeine he needed to get him going throughout the day. Be smart, make wise choices, and always put your health first. I hope you will second guess your choice before cracking open another energy drink!