What’s the Real Deal With Energy Drinks?

April 18, 2017

There are a lot of ways to get an energy hit, but how many of us stop to consider the other effects of that sticky liquid? When we’re overtired and having a demanding day, it’s tempting to grab the nearest thing promising to do the trick; quite often that’s an energy drink or espresso, as those are available on practically every block. It’s a nootropic boost you’re looking for, but reaching for the wrong combination can equate to long-term health problems. You grab the energy drink ’cause you know you’re going to squeeze a bit of much-needed motivation out of that can, and you might even get a little buzz to boot.

Give in to that temptation more frequently, however, and you’ve got a habit on your hands. Before you know it you can’t function without it. Some energy drinks can even feel like amphetamines, making them popular mixers in nightclubs. Vodka and Redbull was once (and possibly still is, for all I know) one of the most popular drinks in the clubs thanks to its ability to keep people feverishly body popping until the early hours. If that’s ever been you, you’ll know that the next day is a different story.

Energy drinks gave me more than I bargained for

I remember being 21 (a disturbingly long time ago) and it was around the time when energy drinks had just found their way onto the market; they were being quaffed by the gallon and I remember naively thinking, what a great idea! I can stay out even later now! Hmmm. Did I stop to consider the ingredients? You bet I didn’t.

I found out about the ridiculously high caffeine content after laying in bed sweating and wide-eyed until 8am with an anxiety to be reckoned with, and heart palpitations loud enough to match the beat of the relentless nightclub below. Not fun, but that’s what happens when you mindlessly swig back four of these as mixers in one night. Lesson learned.

These days, I’m not quite so daft — health is my number one priority, but still, life sometimes tires me out; I still need a helping hand here and there. I have an idea about how to handle this, which I’ll get to, but first of all I’m going to tell you why turning to energy drinks for ‘help’ is a bad move. They really won’t help you at all, actually. It’s not such a secret anymore, but if you missed this news, here’s the heads up:

Energy drinks are toxic and dangerous

Cardiac arrest and abnormal heart rhythms

They’ve caused cardiac arrest in unwitting consumers with underlying heart problems — it only takes a small number to push a weak heart over the edge, due to the violent contractions it brings on. This is even the case with teenagers, which might sound surprising but they’re probably the least likely to consider the dangers and the most susceptible to marketing hype — therefore they buy a lot of these drinks. As a result, abnormal heart rhythms are another common result.

High blood pressure and medicine interactions

Likewise, high blood pressure is grossly exacerbated by energy drinks, which is bad news if you already have this problem; besides, it’s not the kind of problem you want to create. Those on prescription drugs can find themselves in deep trouble when combining them with energy drinks — lots of contraindications have been recorded, especially with drugs designed to treat depression.

Headaches, migraines, anxiety, insomnia

Just as I personally experienced, headaches (or migraines) and anxiety are very common side effects, and panic attacks are far from rare thanks to the excessive caffeine content. Vomiting and other allergic reactions have been recorded, and as suffering from insomnia is yet another frequent side effect, you can see how this cycle may start to perpetuate. To make matters even worse, they’re addictive. But there’s worse to come:

Aspartame, diabetes and vitamin B3 overdose

Diabetes Type 2 is on the increase thanks to the ludicrous amount of sugar in most energy drinks; they wear out the pancreas’ insulin-producing cells. Aspartame is another common ingredient (a highly-toxic chemical sweetener) that can cause serious and irreversible health problems.

Finally, because most energy drinks are infused with Vitamin B3 (Niacin), some people have been known to overdose on it. It normally promotes good health but can be toxic in too-large amounts. One man even developed hepatitis from B3 toxicity, and typical overdose symptoms are skin flushing, increased heart rate, vomiting, itching, gout, diarrhea and dizziness.

Surely there’s a healthier way… isn’t there?

I’m assuming that if any of this is news, alarm bells have gone off and you’re wondering whether there’s a healthy way to get that much-needed energy hit. The good news is that yes, there is. Nootropics substances can be attained through much healthier means, and that’s exactly what Neurogum have brought to the table.

NeuroGum is a sugar-free and aspartame-free nootropic energy gum, and as it contains only natural ingredients in amounts that the body can use to function optimally, you don’t have any of the risks associated with sickly-sweet energy drinks. Neurogum contains a caffeine and L-theanine nootropic combination to keep you energized and mentally fresh, and it’s got a healthy dose of vitamin B6, and B12 infused into it too.

This gum not only tastes great and works five times more quickly than energy drinks and supplements; its ingredients have been scientifically proven to enhance cognition. In other words, you’ll think clearly, be more focused, remember more, be more alert and make better decisions. When you think about it, all your energy problems can be solved by a little box sitting in your pocket.

Whether it’s a nightclub podium you’re heading for or your office desk, why would you opt for a tooth-rotting heart attack in a can over a natural, healthy, simple and flavoursome chunk of gum. I know I wouldn’t… preserve your lifespan and sanity — ‘chews’ Neurogum!

This post was written by Caroline Knight, a Freelance Writer based in the UK. Caroline previously worked in nutrition and now runs healing retreats in Europe, alongside fulfilling her love of writing about everything from business to philosophy and transformation of consciousness.

Hi! We’re Team NeuroGum, aficionados of all things brain-related, from creativity to working out. With backgrounds in art, science, and athletics, we love delving into all the potentials of the human body.

We also created the world’s first nootropic energy gum, made help you optimize your mind — anywhere, anytime. Find out more here.

What’s the Real Deal With Energy Drinks? was originally published in Think Tank by NeuroGum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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