Energy drinks: Getting a buzz may be more than you bargained for

Why do people drink energy drinks? People often drink them to stay awake and to focus on a task. In addition, these drinks have been marketed to teens and young adults with edgy labels and claims of increased athletic performance and concentration.

But what is really in that can? Sugar and caffeine—and lots of them! Did you know that there are more grams of sugar in a SOBE Adrenaline Rush® energy drink than in a Krispy Kreme® donut? In fact, SOBE has more than twice the amount of sugar.

An energy drink once in a while might not be so bad, but they can cause some side-effects, including difficulty sleeping, upset stomach, headaches, dizziness, diarrhea and anxiety. In some cases, they can even land you in your local emergency department with a fast and irregular heartbeat or chest pain.

So, who needs to be careful not to drink too much caffeine? People who:

  • Have heart problems
  • Are prone to seizures
  • Have anxiety or bipolar disorder
  • Take medications for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Athletes beware!

When you are exercising, your body loses fluid from sweating. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means you may lose even more fluid from peeing, which can lead to dehydration. Caffeine can also increase your heart rate, which is often already elevated when you are playing a sport. In some cases, this could send you to the emergency department.

Alcohol and energy drinks: A risky combination

If you combine energy drinks with alcohol you may feel like you are okay to drive a car, but the caffeine will not actually make you less drunk. In fact, mixing the two may make your driving and other activities worse than alcohol alone.

What can you do to stay safe and healthy?

  • Read the labels to find out how much caffeine and sugar are in your energy drinks.
  • Drink water when you are thirsty, especially when playing sports.
  • Never mix energy drinks with alcohol.
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