Full Throttle, Red Bull, and Monster Energy. These are just among the most popular energy drinks in the market today – and all of them are popular among their target market from college students to graveyard shift employees. These products are popular for one main reason: These contain ingredients that boost your energy levels, even provide a near-instant burst of energy depending on its contents and consumption.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients and their effects on the body, as well as a few basic tips in getting the best from these energy drinks.
Wide Range of Beneficial Ingredients
Emphasis must be made that the extra burst of energy that comes after drinking your choice in energy drink doesn’t just come from its caffeine and sugar content. In fact, there are several ingredients in the energy drinks found on supermarket shelves with most of them actually being common ingredients shared by several brands. The main difference between brands typically lies in the actual amount of each ingredient used in relation to the other ingredients.
Here’s a list of the common ingredients in the most popular energy drinks.
- Vitamin B improves mood so you enjoy a burst of mental energy, too, as well as helps in the conversion of sugar to energy.
- Vitamin B12 and B6 aid in proper function of the nervous system, the digestive system, and the cardiovascular system particularly in keeping the red blood cells healthy.
- Riboflavin facilitates normal muscle function, such as in the treatment of muscle cramps.
- Pantothenic acid helps in the reduction of the body’s negative responses to stress.
- Niacin aids in the relief of pains associated with arthritis.
- Taurine, an amino acid naturally produced by the body, helps in the regulation of muscle contractions and heartbeats.
- Ginseng, a root used for many medicinal purposes in traditional Chinese medicine, boosts energy levels and reduced stress reactions.
- Ginkgo biloba enhances memory and mental alertness.
- Guarana seeds acts as a stimulant.
- Creatine, an organic acid, facilitates the supply of energy necessary for normal muscle contractions.
- Carnitine, an amino acid, plays a crucial role in efficient fatty acid metabolism.
Of course, there are also other ingredients like caffeine, sugar and water. Caffeine deserves a special mention because it’s one of the active ingredients in energy drinks for good reasons, such as the added boost in energy after its consumption. Indeed, many people who cannot tolerate coffee in high amounts yet still want to benefit from the beneficial effects of coffee may benefit from moderate energy drink consumption.
There are also important differences between energy drinks, sports drinks, and soft drinks (i.e., sodas). Energy drinks usually have higher caffeine content, as well as other ingredients that boost energy. Sports drinks have ingredients that replenish fluids lost during physical activity, such as in athletic games. Soft drinks are formulated to quench the thirst of their consumers, as well as taste and feel good when consumed.
Get the Best Out of Energy Drinks
Keep in mind that energy drinks are food products, too, so moderation is always a must! While you may want to be physically and mentally alert by drinking bottle after bottle of your preferred energy drink, you should refrain from doing so. Otherwise, you will likely experience side effects from extremely high caffeine consumption, such as heart palpitations, dilated eyes, and jittery feeling.
Like all food products approved for sale in the market, energy drinks are safe for consumption in general. Again, moderation is the key to getting the best benefits from their consumption. Think of these products as your friend that, when abused, can become your enemy, especially as caffeine can be addictive.
You should observe your own physical reactions after drinking one bottle of an energy drink before deciding to take it again so that it becomes your regular drink or to switch to another brand. You must always read the manufacturer’s recommended consumption for a day, such as a single bottle only for an entire day, since it’s for your own sake.
Most important, you must avoid mixing alcohol with energy drinks although it’s quite the rage in the club scene in many countries. The high-energy cocktails, such as when vodka and Red Bull are mixed, can increase the risk of side effects in susceptible persons.
This is because alcohol is an antidepressant and energy drinks are stimulants, a combination that may make an individual feel sober and alert even though he’s already drunk. Plus, there’s also the matter of both energy drinks and alcohol having a dehydrating effect such that when these are combined, the body’s fluids may drop to unhealthy levels. Dehydration isn’t a walk in the park because of the wide range of health issues that come with it.
The bottom line: Be a responsible consumer of energy drinks!