What to consider before buying that energy:
-By Dr Clement G. Plaatjies
There seems to be consensus, especially among parents, that energy drinks are bad for you! And when probed, the main reason seems to be the caffeine content. Of course, there are many other reasons why energy drinks may be bad for you, but let’s consider the “main” reason…too much caffeine!!!
One thing we need to consider, before banishing energy drinks to the same dark place we’ve sent gluten, is what exactly is ‘too much’ caffeine. However, the first thing we need to know is WHAT ON EARTH DOES CAFFEINE DO?!
Caffeine is a stimulant. This means that it “switches our brains on”; unlike alcohol which turns it off. As such, caffeine will help with focus, memory and cognition. It does this by blocking the action of adenosine in the brain, causing it to pile up. Adenosine basically causes your brain to chill out. This accumulation of adenosine is what causes the caffeine-crash. Once the caffeine wears off, all that adenosine now has free reign to ‘slow your brain down’ again.
According to various sources, the maximum dose of caffeine permitted per day is 400mg. For performance enhancement, Sports Physicians have found a dose of 6-9mg per kg of body weight to be effective. These are only recommendations! Underlying conditions such as hypertension, kidney disease, heart disease, etc will greatly influence the safe maximum dose you can consume per day.
So consider this, too much of virtually anything is troublesome for your health. Being in a constant state of stimulation is not sustainable! You risk cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, anxiety and many more potential adverse health effects as a result of too much caffeine. And that’s the point! Many emergency admissions as a result of energy drinks were because of an excess consumption of these beverages or consumption with alcohol which is definitely not advised!
Here’s the conclusion, there’s nothing wrong with energy drinks provided you do not have any co-morbidities affected by too much sugar or stimulants or any of the other ingredients contained there in, and you only consume them in moderation!