Finals week is approaching, which means for many increased levels in caffeine, but more specifically increases in energy drinks for those long nights in the library.
“The number of annual hospital visits involving energy drinks doubled from 2007 to 2011, including 18 deaths” according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the FDA. It is clear that illnesses and deaths from energy drinks are becoming more and more prominent, and it is a serious problem. All brands of energy drinks, such as Red Bull, Monster, All Star, Five Hour Energy, and more, are sold at grocery stores, gas stations, convenient stores, and vending machines. The more we learn about these deadly drinks the more worried we should be about the effects that they have on people’s health.
According to Medical Journal Pediatrics, energy drinks are consumed by 30% to 50% of adolescents and young adults, and they contain high levels of ingredients that are dangerous to our health. Drinking too much of them can lead to kidney damage, seizure and stroke, high blood pressure, heart and brain malfunctions, and more.
Royal Adelaide University Cardiovascular Research Center in Australia performed a study involving 50 participants. The null hypothesis in this study would be that there is no relationship between energy drinks and blood clotting. The alternative hypothesis would be that energy drinks resulted in increased blood clotting. The study’s findings were that within sixty minutes of drinking an energy drink, there was an increase for the possibility of a blood clot. In this situation one would reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis.
Also, According to Donald Hensrud, M.D, Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D., and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. of the Mayo Clinic staff, the average soft drink contains 70 mg of caffeine. It is recommended that teens should only have about 100 mg of caffeine per day, and most energy drinks have far more than 100 mg. One can of Monster contains 160 mg of caffeine, and one Five Hour Energy contains 200 mg of caffeine. Too much caffeine can lead to anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, altered consciousness, hallucinations, seizures and even death.
It is easy to say energy drinks are a fast and convenient way to get energy, which in fact is somewhat true. However, most people choose to overlook or ignore the health facts and ingredients that are necessary to know. Energy drinks are becoming more popular, and therefore more of a problem, because we live in a fast-paced society where people are always out and about and trying to get things done. It is more convenient to drink an energy drink and get fast results than to have to drink multiple cups of coffee just to get a small splurge of energy. They may be a more convenient solution, but there are absolutely no health benefits from consuming these drinks.
If someone just wants an alternative solution to drinking energy drinks after they are informed of the risks, drinking orange juice, eating small snacks, eating more protein, getting more sleep, drinking more water, and exercising more are all ways to boost their energy. If you do drink energy drinks on a regular basis, try one of these alternatives. Put down the drink for a week or two, and try something new to boost your energy: instead of reaching for a Red Bull, have a banana with some nuts and water. These alternative solutions have been proven to boost energy. Energy drinks aren’t the answer. Why should we put ourselves in danger when there are other easy, accessible, and healthy ways to get through the day?