Energy Drinks have become staple diet of many... Others are slowly pickup them up caught under the "excessive propaganda" of them being very "healthy" and "side effect".

Not everything that glitters is gold... and not every energy drink is healthy and side-effect free.

Are energy drinks safe?
Its a vague question, but not everyone's body is adjusted to having energy drinks.
Some people might get side-effects after consuming 3-4 cans of their favorite drink, while others can get the same effects within few sips.

Top 10 Side-effects most commonly seen are -
1. Palpitations / tachycardia
2. Tremor / shaking
3. Agitation / restlessness
4. Gastrointestinal upset
5. Chest pain / ischaemia
6. Dizziness / syncope
7. Paraesthesia (tingling or numbing of the skin)
8. Insomnia
9. Respiratory distress
10. Headache

Are Energy drinks healthy?
Energy drinks contain supplements and vitamins...
Like any other "food supplement", In moderation most people will have no or only short term side effects.
However long term effects from continuous consumption cannot be denied.

Decoding the Specific Ingredients that make an Energy Drink?
Let’s take a look at the most common energy drink ingredients and list the potential side effects that could result from ingesting too much of them from your favorite energy drink.

1. Caffeine

This is the most common energy drink ingredient and one of the most widely consumed substances in the world.

Caffeine tolerance varies between individuals, but for most people a dose of over 200-300mg may produce symptoms of :-  restlessness, increase heartbeat, insomnia, breathing difficulties and blood pressure changes.

Higher dosages can lead to more (see more about caffeine overdose here):
1. Increased blood pressure
2. Heart palpitations
3. Gastrointestinal disturbance (diarrhea)
4. Increase urination
5. Dizziness, irritability, nausea, nervousness, jitters.
5. Allergic reactions can include; rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the (mouth, face, lips, or tongue), diarrhea, shakiness, trouble sleeping, vomiting.
6. Headache and severe fatigue from withdrawal.
7. Breast shrinkage in females.
8. Painful withdrawal symptoms if not consumed.

Caffeine can be found in other ingredients such as guarana,  green tea extract, and coffee extract as well as many other names, so be aware of this when reading energy drink labels.

Adrenal Fatigue

Some people can become tired after consumption of caffeine. This is a symptom of adrenal fatigue where the the body’s adrenalin system has become overtaxed by constant high caffeine intake. The answer is not to increase caffeine even more – but to reduce, detox, and get the adrenal glands back to a healthy state.

Remember it’s hard to pinpoint a safe dose because it varies from person to person and according to a person’s tolerance. Between 500 milligrams to 1000 milligrams in a 24 hour period will probably lead to some of the more severe side effects.

2. Sugar

Most energy drinks are high in sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup and/or cane sugar.

Some use creative names to make their version of sugar seem healthier, like “natural cane juice” or they’ll call it “glucose”.

a. High sugar drinks are linked to the obesity epidemic
b. Tooth Decay
c. Increases risk of type 2 diabetes.
d. The sugar in energy drinks causes blood sugar and insulin spikes which later result in a “crash like” feeling.

3. Taurine
No side effects from Taurine in energy drinks have been documented.  Some countries (France, Denmark, and Norway) originally banned energy drinks because of their taurine content, but have since accepted that taurine consumption is safe based on the evidence to date.

The amounts placed in energy drinks are well below what would be needed for therapeutic benefit or for any potential side-effects.

4. B Vitamins

A. More than 35mg of Niacin (B3) can cause flushing of the skin. Intake of 3000mg or more can result in liver toxicity.

B. More than 100mg of B6 can cause sensory nerve problems (burning sensation) or skin lesions.

C. Inositol
No known side effects have been reported, but ingesting large quantities has been linked to diarrhea. Large doses have been used to treat certain psychiatric disorders.

5. Ginseng
Some studies have linked it to sleeplessness, while others refute this.
Other possible symptoms include; low blood pressure, edema, palpitations, tachycardia, cerebral arteritis, vertigo, headache, insomnia, mania, vaginal bleeding, amenorrhea, fever, appetite suppression, pruritus, cholestatic hepatitis, mastalgia, euphoria, and miscarriage.

6. Glucuronolactone
While no side effects have been reported there’s still debate on its safety. However many countries including Canada, England, Germany, and France have concluded that it is not a safety concern.

7. Artificial Sweeteners
If you drink sugar-free energy drinks you may consuming any number of artificial sweeteners. There is always debate around the health effects of these (particularly aspartame) all major health institutions regard them as safe.

8. Ginkgo Biloba
Gingko is a herb, and can cause some minor side effects in some people:
nausea, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, and restlessness.

Can interact with other medication such as blood thinners and anti-depressants.

9. L-Carnitine
vomiting, nausea, headache, diarrhea, stuffy nose, restlessness and sleeping difficulty.

10. L-Theanine
This amino acid is derived from green tea and many energy drinks and shots have begun putting “green tea extract” in their products.

It produces a different type of alertness than caffeine and there hasn’t been any scientific evidence of it causing adverse side effects. Some have reported feeling light-headed when consuming a dose of more than 300mg of L-Theanine.

If you or your child has a pre-existing heart condition of any sort – they should not be consuming energy drinks.

ENERGY DRINKS have been "attributed" to contribute to seizures, coma and even death of many.. Be careful in their consumption... Understand the signals from your body.

The Mayo Clinic

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