Energy Drinks: Use and Misuse
Energy is needed at all times and all stages of our life. Where then do we draw the line in our search for energy?
Recently I came across a male adult who does drink a good number of energy drinks ranging from Power Horse to Red Bull. This got me thinking and worried. I then resolved to share my insight with you here.
Until recently, there wasn’t a great influx of this so-called energy drinks in the market.
Statistics available on Wikipedia says that in the United States alone, energy drinks market grew to $8 million per year in retail sales in 2001 alone and then five years after, it grew by an average of over 50 per cent per year, totaling over $3billion in 2005. The energy drink market then rose to $ 10billion market in 2010.
In Nigeria , there are no available statistics on the sales and consumption of energy drinks, but findings show that it is increasing greatly.
What are energy drinks?
These beverages that contain caffeine in combination with other ingredients such as taurine, guarana, and B vitamins, and that claims to provide its consumers with extra energy.
Do you also know that the term “energy drinks” isn’t acceptable everywhere, I mean in every country? This term was created by companies in the beverage industry and is not recognized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
There is limited evidence that consumption of energy drinks can significantly improve physical and mental performance, driving ability when tired, and decrease mental fatigue during long periods of concentration. Unfortunately, the body of literature is limited and it is not known whether these improvements are due to the caffeine, other herbal ingredients, or as a result of the combination of the ingredients found in a beverage.
The caffeine content of a single serving of energy drink (8 to 12 fl oz.) can range from 72 to 150 mg; however, many bottles contain 2-3 servings, raising the caffeine content to as high as 294 mg per bottle.
In comparison, the caffeine content, per serving (8 fl oz.), of brewed coffee, tea, and cola beverages ranges between 134-240 mg, 48-175 mg, and 22-46 mg respectively .
A recent literature review determined that consumption of up to 400 mg caffeine daily by healthy adults is not associated with adverse effects.
However, groups that are at risk, such as women of reproductive age and children, should limit their daily consumption of caffeine to a maximum of 300 mg for the former and 2.5 mg/kg body weight for the latter; thus they may need to avoid consuming these beverages with a higher caffeine content.
Adolescents should limit caffeine consumption, as intakes greater than 100 mg/day has been associated with elevated blood pressure. Based on these findings, consumption of energy drinks by pregnant or nursing women, adolescents, and children is not recommended. Caution is warranted even for healthy adults who choose to consume these beverages.
Consumption of a single energy beverage may not lead to excessive caffeine intake; however, consumption of two or more beverages in a single day can. Other stimulants such as guarana and ginseng are often added to these beverages and can enhance the effects of caffeine. Guarana in particular, contains caffeine (1g of guarana is nearly equal to 40 mg caffeine) (7) and may substantially increase the total caffeine in an energy drink.
There are many unusual ingredients in these drinks one of such is Inositol which is a class of alcohol
If you are addicted to this, we can talk.
P.S. This is not promoting PowerHorse
Do share if found helpful.