A lot of people habitually uncap bottles of energy drinks and gulp down volume after volume, often with the desire to stay alert, attentive, and focused. This is because energy drinks contain caffeine, added sugar, and legal stimulants such as taurine, guarana and L-carnitine, which increase the pulse and rapid consciousness while the body remains alert.
However, many individuals who consume these fluids are ignorant of the adverse effects they cause and are always shocked when the early signs manifest in their bodies. Below are six reasons to stop taking energy drinks:
- Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
Energy drinks can trigger irregular heart rhythms, otherwise known as arrhythmias. This results from hyperstimulation of the heart, whereby the body, under the influence of stimulating fluids (energy drinks), is kept under pressure and exerts more energy than usual. There is an increased speed of heartbeat, which can cause the heart to stop.
- It causes high blood pressure
Energy drink consumption causes an irregular or increased heartbeat speed, which triggers blood pressure that can further lead to hypertension. More blood is pumped into the bloodstream, increasing blood flow into other body parts. As such, the whole body is unusually tense.
- It disorients the brain
When energy drinks are mixed with alcohol, it becomes very difficult for the brain to interpret signals. This is because while alcohol acts as a depressant, an energy drink is supposed to stimulate the body. However, the mixture of the two inside the body system can incur the risk of a potential nervous breakdown.
That further becomes worse, especially when there is the tendency of those who lace alcohol with energy drinks to binge drink, as the caffeine present in the latter prevents them from feeling dull or drowsy. Instead, they’d continue to consume more alcohol, further triggering multiple sensory signals to the brain simultaneously.
In this state (nervous breakdown), a person begins to witness psycho-behavioural problems such as irritability, nervousness, panic attacks and hallucinations.
- It increases gut motility rate and dehydration
The caffeine in energy drinks can easily trigger gut motility- the muscle contraction that permits food movement and other gastrointestinal content in the stomach. This happens because caffeine causes the nerves and muscles in the body to be hyperactive. So, the contents in the stomach also receive a sudden rush of movement as the muscles contract, which can cause a painful stomach upset to the individual.
Furthermore, this reaction causes the individual to lose a lot of body fluid due to constant stools or diarrhoea, thus making him/her pale due to dehydration.
- It causes liver damage
Energy drinks contain artificial sweeteners such as glucose, sucrose and high fructose corn syrup. The liver exclusively handles fructose, and it is associated with fatty liver- an abnormal condition that can cause scarring and damage to the liver.
That poses a risk to an individual who consumes energy drinks excessively, causing an unwanted mass of fat to accumulate in the liver.
- It inhibits testosterone levels
Caffeine has the potential to raise testosterone levels in males. However, in the cause of elevating testosterone levels, the cortisol (stress hormones) becomes high, and this can, in turn, lower the testosterone stimulation.
Because the stress hormones are hyperactive after consuming energy drinks, the testosterone levels will be raised, but only for a short time.