Sir Isaac Newton was right when he said“what goes up must come down” .This rings true when talking about energy drinks. These products promise to provide heightened awareness, more energy, more endurance some even reference to the consumer you will have wings. So when consuming these products what are you really drinking? Do they provide the energy boost they promise? Are they harmful? Should the FDA do more investigating into the safety of these so-called energy drinks? These are questions I had going into this as a consumer of energy drinks myself, I was interested in how harmful they are too the consumer. In this paper I hope to provide a better insight to a product that is popular and in demand; but little is known about.
What Are You Drinking?
Energy drinks contain most of the same major ingredients caffeine, taurine, glucronolactone, niacin and panax ginseng just to list a few. Let’s start with caffeine it is a central nervous system stimulant that has the effect of temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. As of studies done by (Lovett, Richard) 90% of adults consume caffeine daily in different ways. Most of the energy from these drinks comes from the sugar and caffeine not the unnecessary extras (Suzanne Farrell MS, RD). Taurine another main ingredient is actually an amino acid that is found in the human body it is a natural substance that our bodily systems encounter every day. However in these energy drinks it is a synthetic element. Then there is Ginseng is known as an adaptogen, which means it increases resistance to physical, chemical, and biological stress and builds energy and general vitality. These are just a couple of the things in what seems to be in a lot of the energy drinks. The rest of the scientific sounding ingredients came up to be not relevant to the effects these drinks promise.
|Beverage (250 ml) |Caffeine content | |Cocaine energy drink |280mg | |Full Throttle |144mg | |Monster |160mg | |Impulse |88 mg | |Red Bull |80 mg | |Naughty Boy |80mg | |'V' |78 mg | |Coca-Cola |48.75 mg |
Do These Drinks Provide The Effects They Promise?
Most drinks provide some combination of B vitamins (which help convert sugar to energy and help regulate red blood cells, which deliver oxygen), amino acids (e.g., taurine), antioxidants(milk thisle, vitamin C), and stimulants, ranging from the reliable (caffeine, guarana) to the alleged (horny goat weed). Yes, they do. Smit and colleagues found that energy drinks, as compared to placebo, had energizing effects among 18 to 55 year old participants, with effects being strongest 30 to 60 minutes after consumption and sustained at least 90 minutes. Caffeine was found to be the primary constituent responsible for these effects. Although there is no human requirement for caffeine, even low doses of caffeine (12.5 to 100 mg) improve...
Bibliography: Lovett, Richard (24 September 2005). "Coffee: The demon drink?" (Fee required). New Scientist (2518). http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18725181.700. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
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