Energy drinks—You see them at X Games events, basketball arenas, and rock concerts. You can even “fan” some of them on Facebook. What these brands don’t tell you, and what science is now showing us, is that their drinks can really be unhealthy.
Energy drinks often pack in extra vitamins, along with caffeine, which delivers the eye-opening jolt of energy, and is supposed to boost your brain power. People, even teens, seek that extra kick from energy drinks to stay alert longer or perform better sometimes. But do these drinks really boost your brain?
The makers of these drinks claim their drinks deliver energy, but in fact, what they deliver are monster-doses of caffeine and other supplements that rev up your system. Although they may deliver a temporary jolt of energy, they also boost your heart rate, making you feel jittery and on-edge-and too much caffeine can cause stomach aches. Plus, having an energy drink every day might fool you into thinking you can’t function without it.
Teens are busy. School, sports, a part-time job, and never-ending homework…finally sleep, then having to get up while it’s still dark out to do it all over again. No wonder energy drinks are appealing!
But do they deliver what they promise? And is drinking such high doses worth the possible health risks? Probably not. Better to get more sleep and exercise so you don’t have to depend on chemicals for your energy.
You may remember that a while back, SBB addressed an unhealthy new fad—energy drinks
. We speculated that these drinks, although highly publicized in the coolest venues, were not safe even though they promised to deliver an extra dose of energy. Now, SBB confronts an even more dangerous issue: alcoholic
energy drinks, like Four LOKO.
Why are alcoholic energy drinks so dangerous? They contain two main substances—alcohol and caffeine, the first a depressant and the second a stimulant. These two substances should never be consumed in large quantities and they should definitely never be mixed. Why? Because they have opposite effects on your body that can fool you into drinking more than you can handle.
like alcohol slow down the central nervous system. Drinking a lot of alcohol can affect your coordination and perception and even make you pass out. Stimulants
meanwhile “wake up” the central nervous system and increase energy and alertness.
Opposites Do Not Attract.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the caffeine in alcoholic energy drinks masks the effects that the alcohol has on the body, which motivates people to drink more. Worse, the average beer has 4 to 5 percent alcohol, while an alcoholic energy drink is 12 percent
alcohol! Therefore, people can get really drunk without realizing it, making them more vulnerable to overdose, alcohol poisoning, and even death.
In the past few months, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has pulled alcoholic energy drinks like Four LOKO off store shelves, banning them in many states.
Better to keep it natural—go for a run or do some yoga to “feel-good.”