Most of us regularly consume beverages that are high in caffeine and that claim to give us extra energy, but how much do we really know about the ingredients of energy drinks and the effects they have on our health?
Here are eighteen must know facts about energy drinks.
Fact 1: What are energy drinks? This term refers to beverages with a high caffeine content combined with ingredients such as taurine, guarana and B vitamins, that claim to provide consumers with extra energy. The term is not recognized by the United States Food and Drug Administration or the United States Department of Agriculture.
Fact 2: Do they really increase our physical and mental performance? There is limited evidence for this. However, it is not known whether the caffeine in energy drinks is the ingredient that improves our senses or whether it is a combination of the ingredients found in the beverage.
Fact 3: A single serving of energy drink has a caffeine content of 72 to 150 mg, however beware, most energy drinks contain 2 to 3 of these servings!
Fact 4: Consumption of two to three energy drinks a day can lead to a caffeine overload or, in other words, excessive caffeine intake.
Fact 5: After an adult consumes more than 400 mg of caffeine he or she is likely to experience nervousness, sleeplessness, increased urination and an upset stomach.
Fact 6: There are numerous unusual ingredients in energy drinks. For example Monster energy drink contains carnitine which increases the fat in our metabolism and supposedly protects against cardiovascular disease.
Fact 7: Energy drinks are banned by the International Olympic Committee, because caffeine increases endurance.
Fact 8: Do you consume energy drinks with alcohol? You should know that both of these beverages are a diuretic, which increases your chances of dehydrating and adverse cardiovascular effects.
Fact 9: Energy drinks were originally popular in Asia. They were marketed in Thailand in the 1970s and introduced to Europe in the 1980s.
Fact 10: Energy drinks represent only 1% of the non-alcoholic beverages world market.
Fact 11: In 2014, Red Bull paid $10 to all its customers who were disappointed that the drink didn’t actually give wings! In total, Red Bull paid out $13 million in a lawsuit that accused the company of misleading advertising claims.
Fact 12: Energy drinks are consumed by 31% of 12 to 17 year olds and 34% of 18 to 24 year olds.
Fact 13: People who consume energy drinks with alcohol are three times more likely to binge drink.
Fact 14: Red Bull sold $2.9 billion in energy drink products in 2014! It is the most popular energy drink in the US, closely followed by Monster.
Fact 15: Red Bull was adapted from a Thai energy drink called Krating Daeng.
Fact 16: Energy drinks and sports drinks should not be confused! Sport drinks such as Gatorade, help people stay hydrated during exercise, while energy drinks cause dehydration.
Fact 17: Many countries have sought to ban the use of energy drinks. France had a ban on Red Bull for 12 years, until 2008 when the ban was lifted due to pressure from the EU. Lithuania recently banned energy drinks to minors, while Canada is fighting its own battle against the consumption of these beverages by youths.
Fact 18: Energy drinks can lead to type 2 diabetes because they are very high in sugar. The sugar content can wear out the insulin producing cells of the pancreas and lead to diabetes.