While energy drinks are becoming increasingly popular — especially among teens and young adults — these drinks often have large amounts of sugar and caffeine. Depending on the brand, you could be consuming as much as 500 milligrams of caffeine in a 20-ounce serving, compared to 200 milligrams in a 12-ounce cup of brewed coffee or 35 milligrams in a 12-ounce serving of Coca-Cola Classic.
Caffeine, which is a stimulant, may be safe in moderation for most people, but it can have some unpleasant side effects including jitteriness, upset stomach, headaches and sleep problems. Caffeine also may be dangerous for those who have any type of heart disease or high blood pressure. Consuming caffeine can further increase some people’s blood pressure, or make the heart beat faster and trigger abnormal heart rhythms.
Mixing alcohol with an energy drink could lead to dangerous heart rhythms — even in people who don’t have an underlying heart condition. Another danger from combining energy drinks with alcohol is that you may feel alert enough to drive, even when the alcohol actually is impairing your responses.
Quickly drinking an energy drink isn't a good idea either. The high levels of caffeine and sugar may cause a number of symptoms and have sometimes been severe enough to require hospitalization.
Like many things in life, energy drinks may be OK if consumed in moderation. However, your best way to feel energized each day is to eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, and get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week. And don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep.
To learn more about how caffeine affects your body, take the free, online How Much Do You Know About Caffeine? quiz available on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/CaffeineQuiz.
Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
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Dallas, TX 75218