Energy drinks are very popular, especially among young people. The question is, are they a good idea or a bad idea? Actually, they are a bit of both. It depends largely on the circumstances under which they are used.
Pro: Provides a Second Wind
If you’re busy with a project, have to work long hours are you’re studying for an exam, these beverages may come in handy. Most contain caffeine or other similar stimulants. These initiate the “fight or flight” mode, increasing endurance.
I hate to tell you this, but these drinks are not good as a means to avoid sleep. Your body requires a certain amount of sleep. Using these beverages in order to cut down on sleep hours isn’t good for your body or your brain. In the case of a cram session, it may mean that you are sluggish and forgetful the next day. That’s not really what was intended.
Pro: Helps Focus
Flight or fight hormones increase the brain’s ability to focus. Concentration becomes easier. In the above case of studying, that’s good. Learning may be a little easier.
Even one of these beverages can cause nerves to jangle. Constant use can really wreck the nerves. That’s because one of the ingredients destroys serotonin, a hormone that helps bring sleep and soothe nerves.
There is one more “con” that needs to be considered. Those with certain medical conditions should never use any of these beverages. They interact with most anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications. They also increase blood pressure and heart rate. This can interfere with medications for the heart and high blood pressure.
While these beverages aren’t all bad, it’s a good idea to use them with caution. They have a decided affect on the body and the brain. Overuse could create a lot of damage.
Breaking News: The US and Sweden are looking into deaths related to energy drinks. One problem comes in when these beverages are mixed with alcohol. The stimulant effect of the drink and the depressive action of the alcohol can confuse the brain. Alcohol poisoning and dui are both possible problems. Even without the alcohol several deaths seem to be linked to these beverages. Consult your doctor before using them, especially if you have underlying health conditions.