The dangers of energy drinks

Dr Maxwell Adeyemi  -
Dr Maxwell Adeyemi -

Over the past few years there had been a increase in the consumption of energy drinks.

People frequently complain of feeling exhausted from the rigours of everyday life, with many having to juggle family and other responsibilities.While some try to balance two or more jobs, others are involved in sporting and physical activities that demand more from the body. As a result, we feel very obligated to “boost” up our energy levels, not by resting but by consuming readily available energy drinks that give us false impressions that we can be like super humans.

Many of our young adults, teenagers and even the not-so-many engage in the practice and literally force their bodies to perform at higher levels. More so, some men actually use them to “boost” their sex lives believing it helps them to perform at higher and better levels.

These drinks contain high levels of caffeine and are associated with mental and physical boosts and has been associated with increased blood pressure, weight gain, headaches, anxiety, dental problems, dehydration, insomnia, increase production of negative stress hormones, liver and heart disease.

People who are addicted to these energy-boosting drinks may want to consider the following:


The left ventricle, the chamber of the heart that pumps the blood around the body, contracts harder an hour after the energy drinks is taken. It was also noted that the amount of caffeine in these drinks is up to three times higher than in other regular caffeinated beverages like coffee or cola. After consuming energy drinks, the heart is practically 'assaulted' as there is resultant increased heart rate, palpitations, rise in blood pressure, increase in force of contractions, and in severe cases, there could be seizure and sudden death.


These energy drinks do not provide any real energy but instead provide the popular caffeine stimulant. The stimulating properties in the drink can boost heart rate and blood pressure, sometimes causing palpitations that dehydrate the body and prevent sleep. It also revs up your metabolism causing your body to go into false sense of energy production, which practically means you are in overdrive. It is like using an overdraft facility or credit card, where you spend money that you don’t really have. Eventually the body is not able to sustain this practice and at some point it will crash. Some energy drinks give a psychological feeling of improved performance when actually one’s sense of judgment may be impaired.

The stimulants (caffeine) induce the release of both the stored energy in the body and the ones present in the drink. During the period of contractions, the heart does extra work to pump and circulate blood packed with lots of glucose. Most time the excess glucose is more than what the body organs require at a particular time, especially if one is not engaged in physical activities.


Regular requirement of caffeine is about 100-200g per day – about one to two cups of coffee. Anything above 300g should be avoided. The caffeine contents in energy drinks varies, this is why it is important to look at labels in order to not exceed the comfortable limit. It is advised that people with heart disease, including young children and teenagers, to avoid caffeine, and especially energy drinks.

Energy drinks have been associated with elevated blood pressure in young adults, it is also linked to hypertension in children and teenagers. In hypertensive people, it further increases their pressure. Long-term energy drink consumption could lead to heart failure, heart attacks and irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias).

It has also become common-place for people to mix energy drink with other alcoholic drinks and beverages, especially when they stay up to work, party or drive. This can be very dangerous to your health, as it can cause damage to the liver, the kidney and the heart and may also induce stomach ulcers because of the acid base.


• Control stress: stress induced emotions consume huge amount of energy and can drain you to the point of exhaustion.

• Lighten your workload: overwork leads to fatigue, therefore your workload and activities should be well planned.

• Exercise: this gives your cells more energy and improves circulation.

• Avoid smoking: this habit drains your energy by causing insomnia which, when prolonged, can obstruct the body from effective recovery process and can cause exhaustion.

• Limit alcohol: overconsumption dehydrates you and tires you.

• Drink more water: if your body is short of fluids, it may lead to fatigue.

• Eat more fruits: they are great natural energy boosters (banana, watermelon, oranges are good options).

• Eat for energy: smaller meals more frequently may be better than large meals at inappropriate times.

Contact Dr Maxwell on 363-1807 or 757-5411.


"The dangers of energy drinks"

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