Physical and Mental Effects of Energy Drinks on the Body


There is a growing worry regarding the effects of energy drinks on both physical and mental fitness of the human body. Energy drinks that are highly caffeinated and mixed with alcohol impose a great effect on a person. However, they are very popular with the youths and have quite peculiar ingredients that are likely to affect the body both positively and negatively. Energy drinks are types of beverages that are presumed to have mental and physical boost. They come in different brands; however, these brands generally contain large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. Some contain sugar, amino acids, herbal extracts, and alcohol contents. This paper therefore discusses a variety of physiological and psychological effects of energy drinks and their ingredients.

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Physical and Mental Effects of Energy Drinks

There are numerous physiological and psychological effects of energy drinks on the human body. Numerous studies confirm that there are significant improvements in cognitive and mental performance as well as enhanced personal vigilance. Energy drinks if taken in excess are likely to affect the body negatively by inducing mild to moderate euphoria that is usually caused by stimulant properties of caffeine. Excess intake of energy drinks also causes induced agitation, insomnia, irritability, and anxiety. According to Alford et al. (2001), during frequent cycling tests on fit adult, it was noted that energy drinks considerably enhanced upper body muscle stamina. In addition, researchers suggest that reversal of caffeine abandonment is a major constituent of the effects of caffeine on disposition and performance.

Indisputably, energy drinks as their name suggest gives an individual energy boost, which is likely to help both physically and mentally to get through a stage of low energy levels. As it was mentioned earlier, energy drinks and their components assist in improving mental attentiveness and perk up corporeal endurance. Another instance where energy drinks are crucial is in the sporting field or mostly the athletics. Alford et al. (2001) contends that energy drinks allow athletes to exercise well and perform for longer periods. Given the fact that some energy drinks are full of sugar, drinking in excess of such energy drinks makes people to gain weight, which subsequently leads to obesity. Overweight contributes to numerous serious medical conditions that must be addressed suitably. It is advisable to take energy drinks occasionally to avoid developing serious medical conditions such as obesity.

Another danger arises when energy drinks are mixed with alcohol. Examples of such energy drinks are Red Bull and Alcopops, which are in most instances used as mixers with alcohol beverages.  However, this act is currently working for most companies since many youths like the blend formed after the mixture. This is why numerous youths are glued to mixing alcohol with energy drinks. Most of the youths do this without putting into consideration the health damaging consequences (Finnegan, 2003). What they do not seem to understand is that alcohol is a depressant and energy drinks are stimulants. This act therefore puts the body under a position of extreme stress since the body struggles to achieve balance between the two opposing effects. This is likely to cause dire consequences and extreme stress on the human heart.

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Consequently, it is apparent that Red Bull energy drink seems the best to many people and that has significantly contributed to its high intake (Oteri et al., 2007). Probably, Red Bull might be a better energy drink to an elite athlete. According to a study done by Alford et al. (2000), Red Bull increased aerobic performance by 10% and anaerobic performance by 26%. In addition, there is a significant physical performance benefits associated with Red Bull and that is why most athlete prefer it prior to training and competition.

Most importantly, Red Bull has a relatively low cost and benefits in physical performance. Most energy drinks are worth to use for athletes with the interest of gaining an edge on the competition. Nonetheless, there are numerous caffeinated alternatives to provide energy boost to the body. Unquestionably, though, considering a little harm associated with fewer intakes of energy drinks, and their ability to improve mental and physical performance, humans should consume reasonable amounts to enjoy their performance-enhancing properties.

Effects of Energy Drinks on Psychiatric Patients

Since most energy drinks are caffeinated, the mechanism of inducing mental illness is through its effects on neurotransmitters. Through adenosine A1 and A2 receptor antagonisms, caffeine inhabits the inhibitory effect of adenosine on dopamine, which is likely to agitate the psychoactivity of dopaminergic system in the human body (Robinson et al. 2012). This process is also likely to affect the mood, salience attribution, body functionality, regulation behavior, and cognition. Undoubtedly, this is true since excess intake of caffeine induces hectic indications in individuals lacking bipolar disorder, and psychosis in persons without a beforehand diagnosed disorder. In order to address such issues it is vital to reduce the consumption rate of caffeine. Additionally, it has been hypothesized that the mechanism through which caffeinated energy drinks induce psychiatric relapse is through competitive binding (Barber-Heidal et al. 2007). Because of continuous or increased intake of energy drinks, these competitive binding sites full of caffeine molecules inhibit binding by psychotropic medications. Through this process, the metabolism of numerous antipsychotic and antidepressants are not likely to occur. In turn, this causes inducing relapse by decreasing usefulness of psychotropic medications.

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Although some studies suggest that energy drinks have positive temporary impact on memory and concentration of an individual, there are still other negative effects of excessive intake energy drinks. It is vital for youths, particularly the athletes to consume energy drinks in moderation. This is because excessive intake of caffeinated energy drinks causes serious health problems both physically and psychologically. For most people, energy drinks are usually safe when taken in moderation as a supplement of a healthful diet. Finally, it is worth noting the consequences linked to mixing energy drinks with alcohol and avoid such combinations.

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