Energy drinks have gained much popularity over the past few years. Many people, including athletes, use and rely on them as an energy booster fail to consider the negative and sometimes harmful effects from these beverages. Some MLB teams have noticed the dangers energy drinks can have on the body and have banned them from the players’ clubhouses. (See link below)
Here’s a brief run-through of the composition of energy drinks:
SUGAR: Energy drinks are often loaded with sugar, which causes your blood sugar (energy levels) to come crashing down once the sugar leaves the blood. Yes, you may feel very energetic for a short while after drinking an energy drink, and this is because the high sugar content quickly stimulates your nervous system, giving you that feel-good feeling and buzz of energy. Keep in mind that the fast spike in blood sugar/energy will lead to an equal drop in blood sugar/energy. Some people may actually feel more fatigued than they were to begin with.
CAFFEINE: Caffeine is also found in large quantities in energy drinks. Caffeine in these amounts (and for those individuals who are sensitive to caffeine) increases your heart rate and body temperature, potentially leading to an irregular heartbeat, excess sweating, shakes, and anxious feelings. Also, caffeine generally produces both laxative and diuretic effects, leading to excess urination and the risk of becoming dehydrated. As an athlete, all of these effects can hamper performance tremendously.
OTHER INGREDIENTS: Some of the other common ingredients found in energy drinks are: Taurine, Guarana, Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba, B-Vitamins, and many more. In addition, many energy drinks contain a special “energy blend” … sometimes not listing what actually makes up that blend. As a consumer, it is very important to realize that many of these extra ingredients don’t even contribute to increased energy levels. In addition, some ingredients, whether listed or not, may be a banned substance and can possibly show up positive on an athlete’s drug test.
BOTTOM LINE: Use a lot of caution if considering consuming an energy drink. If your energy levels are low, take a look at your diet and hydration… a few tweaks there can make a huge and positive difference!Click here to read: "MLB teams limiting energy drink consumption, cite negative effects to players’ health"