A lot of us would hear the word ‘Addict’ and imagine a down and out, the great unwashed, a person with wild eyes that would never be anywhere we would go. We may imagine an ‘Addict ‘ to be dangerous or untrustworthy, violent or aggressive. We may perceive them as people that are hidden away out of sight only emerging at night. Think again. The World Health Authority is warning that energy drinks “may pose a danger to public health” and that is through habitually drinking these spiky drinks.
Their high sugar content can obviously lead to weight gain. Sugar is in the news so much now as we are discovering the links between excessive sugar consumption and ill health; cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, Diabetes and others. The high caffeine content takes us from feeling tired and lethargic to feeling alert and ready for anything. There is danger attached because large amounts of caffeine are extremely addictive and can cause serious changes in heart rhythms, the flow of blood through the body, and also blood pressure. This excessive amount of Caffeine can create Caffeine toxicity which can bring you excessive urination and headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, depression, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, restlessness, stomach irritation and tremors.
As well as the caffeine content we have Ginseng, but unlike a lot of the hype by the manufacturers that says it contributes to wellness, research has shown that the amounts in the energy drinks is too low to offer any real health benefit. The ginseng element to these drinks has been linked to restlessness, irritability and nausea, not quite what you had in mind when you bought the drink.
Drinking these drinks can create a circle of dependency; as when we feel lacking in energy these drinks work to spike our energy levels as we drink them, but then as time passes our energy levels crash down which often leads to another being drunk, and another, and another. A spike, crash, spike, crash cycle is created. I was recently at an event and the woman sitting next to me had a can of energy drink and a huge bag of sweets for breakfast. ‘I need this as I’m always exhausted’ she told me. I spoke to her at the break time and explained to her why she was always exhausted. I told her about what she was actually doing to her body. I hope she took it on board.
I have worked with clients that have got into the habit of 10 cans of energy drink a day, sometimes more. Putting aside the financial cost of this habit, you see the health problems clearly in each person. Often they hardly eat and they certainly don’t eat a healthy balanced diet that would benefit them enormously and level out their energy and moods. Missing out good calories, missing out times to eat and relax and de-stress during the day, missing out on down time. Too busy for breakfast. Too busy for lunch. Too busy. Not loving yourself enough to nurture yourself and boost your health in a natural way. Being blind to the real damage you may be doing to your well-being and your long-term health just like the lady who sat next to me.
Another way they are used is being drunk with alcohol. Drinking alcohol and energy drinks to “party harder” has become extremely popular. One massive side effect of this is that you could be very drunk but you won’t feel very drunk…and that’s a dangerous situation to be in. In these times when binge drinking is so ‘normal’ to so many we are getting ourselves into habits that are without doubt detrimental to our health and well-being on so many levels.
Take a look at your habits, are you addicted to energy drinks?