Energy drinks are getting more popular, but there is a drawback that many people need to be made aware of. Consuming energy drinks while backpacking might be hazardous to your health in a number of ways. For starters, energy drinks often include high levels of caffeine.
Caffeine is a stimulant that may induce sleeplessness, anxiety, and restlessness. Caffeine may also elevate your heart rate and blood pressure. Energy drinks might be risky if you have a heart issue.
In addition to caffeine, energy drinks often include additional potentially dangerous substances. Some energy drinks, for example, include a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners. These components may contribute to weight gain and other health issues.
Furthermore, some energy drinks include herbal supplements that may only be suitable for some. In this article, we will discuss Why Are Energy Drinks Dangerous When Backpacking? But first, let’s define energy drinks and why they’re bad for you.
What Are Energy Drinks?
Energy drinks, as the name suggests, are drinks that are designed to provide you with extra energy. These simple drinks are filled with stimulants that are proven to boost variables such as energy levels and mental concentration.
They are made using substances such as taurine, ginseng, and sugar. Consequently, these beverages are categorised as dietary supplements in the United States and are subject to less stringent regulations.
Caffeine, a stimulant that may make people feel more energetic, is the star of the energy drink show. Caffeine levels in these beverages may range from 50 to 505 mg per cup. A conventional cup of coffee has roughly 100 mg of coffee, a cup of black tea has 30 mg, and a can of ordinary soda has 34 mg.
Energy drinks are available in a broad range of flavours. Customers have many options for picking their ideal mixture, ranging from sugar-free to a B-vitamin boost.
Why Are Energy Drinks Dangerous?
Energy drinks are becoming more popular, particularly among teenagers. However, there is much disagreement on whether they are healthy. So, why are energy drinks bad for you?
Energy drinks include a lot of caffeine, which may harm your health. Caffeine is a stimulant that may raise blood pressure and heart rate and create anxiety and sleeplessness. Caffeine’s negative effects are increased when combined with alcohol, as is common practice during parties.
Energy drinks, in addition to caffeine, are high in sugar, which may provide a brief burst of energy followed by an unpleasant collapse. The excessive sugar content of these drinks may also contribute to weight gain and other health issues such as diabetes.
Due to the diuretic action of caffeine and sugar, energy drinks may dry your body rather than hydrate it. It is particularly true if you’re hiking while consuming them. Headaches, dizziness, and other unpleasant symptoms may result from dehydration.
5 Side Effects Of Energy Drinks:
Let’s investigate the potential side effects of energy drinks. They could make you think twice about your next canned fix.
1. Sleep Disruptions:
One of the most serious disadvantages of energy drinks is their propensity to overstimulate your body and/or mind. Consequently, they may interfere with your sleep and alter your circadian cycle. Ironically, this may intensify the issue that leads you to depend on energy drinks in the first place! According to a 2016 research on teenagers, there is a link between energy drink intake and:
• A rise in late-night sleeping
• Headache complaints
These adverse consequences may impair academic achievement and put teenagers at risk for additional behavioural and health problems. If you can’t give up energy drinks, at the very least, be cautious about when you consume them. According to specialists, caffeine should be avoided late in the day to ensure a healthy night’s sleep. According to one research, stopping your consumption at least six hours before night will help you sleep better.
2. Mental Health And Mood Disturbances:
Some studies show that long-term consumption of energy drinks may lead to depression. According to one research, men, in particular, had greater stress levels after taking energy drinks. These mental health risks may be caused by the high caffeine levels and the temptation to over-consume these drinks.
After all, consuming too much caffeine in one sitting might result in more acute side effects. Furthermore, the quick, brief burst of energy must stop at some time, and coming down from this energy surge might negatively impact your mood. . Furthermore, many individuals get angry when weary, and caffeine withdrawal may worsen these symptoms.
3. Increases In Blood Pressure:
Because the primary active chemicals in energy drinks are stimulants, frequent use might put additional strain on your cardiovascular system. According to one research, teenagers who take energy drinks have a rise in blood pressure two hours after drinking these items. Another research found similar results in young, healthy participants.
While pumping blood more swiftly or powerfully through your veins can give you greater energy, there are certain downsides. Higher blood pressure involves more effort from your heart, so avoiding or consuming energy drinks sparingly may help you to avoid this extra strain on your body.
4. Physiological Dependence:
The potential for persons who use energy drinks to grow reliant on them is a troubling issue. Some individuals may start with one or two energy drinks when they are fatigued. They may eventually start to rely on caffeine to get through the day.
It may lead to a vicious cycle of poor sleep patterns and an unhealthy dependency on energy drinks. While they may provide temporary comfort, the energy boost from these drinks quickly wears off. If this trend continues, more energy drinks may be required to provide the desired effect. It might lead to serious health consequences such as:
• Caffeine toxicity
• Problems with the liver
• Gaining too much weight (due to excessive sugar intake)
To prevent these negative effects, take energy drinks as seldom as possible.
5. Digestive Issues:
Energy drink manufacturers often use sugar alcohol or other substitutes to create sugar-free varieties. However, they still contain a lot of sugar—often as much as soda. These high sugar or sugar alcohol levels may damage the gut microbiota.
According to one research, gastrointestinal inflammation is among energy drinks’ numerous unpleasant side effects. While this research doesn’t specify the discomfort, it’s fair to assume that it might create inflammation and other difficulties in the stomach.
Gut health is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, mood, digestion, and hormone function. As a result, it’s best to avoid excessive use of energy drinks to maintain healthy gut function.
Healthy Alternatives For Energy Drinks:
Avoid energy drinks totally due to their many downsides and the availability of better alternatives. Here are a few healthy choices to help you remain motivated and get through any slumps throughout your day.
Supplements For Energy:
Certain supplements may be used as a substitute for energy drinks. Uber Energy by HUM is a caffeine-free alternative that contains B vitamins and brain-boosting ingredients such as choline and eleuthero.
It also includes adaptogens, such as Rhodiola rosea and ashwagandha, which help with stress and anxiety. Instead of making your body work harder, these vitamins and herbs work with your body’s natural processes to improve its performance.
1. Green Tea:
Green tea has 45 milligrams of caffeine per cup, but coffee contains 90 to 100 mg. On the other hand, energy drinks range from 50 to 500 milligrams per serving! Some claim that green tea provides them with more consistent energy than coffee.
Green tea contains L-theanine, which promotes long-lasting energy while also having a relaxing effect. It means you’ll have more attention without the caffeine jitters! Green tea also contains high levels of antioxidants.
These shield your skin and other organs against damage caused by UV radiation, air pollution, and other forms of free radical damage—finally, green tea wins in every category.
2. Coconut Water:
- Hydration: Coconut water is an excellent natural source of hydration. It contains electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium, which help replenish the body’s fluids and maintain a healthy balance. These electrolytes are crucial for proper muscle function, nerve signaling, and maintaining fluid balance within cells.
- Natural Energy Boost: Coconut water contains natural sugars, such as glucose and fructose, which can provide a mild energy boost. These sugars are easily absorbed and utilized by the body, making coconut water a healthier alternative to energy drinks that are often loaded with refined sugars or artificial sweeteners.
3. Sparkling Water with Citrus:
- Hydration: Like regular water, sparkling water helps keep you hydrated. Staying properly hydrated is essential for maintaining overall health and supporting bodily functions. Adding a citrus twist to sparkling water can make it even more appealing and enjoyable to drink, encouraging you to stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Low in Calories and Sugar: Sparkling water with citrus is typically low in calories and sugar. It provides a flavorful alternative to sugary beverages like soda or energy drinks without the added calories and artificial sweeteners. Citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, and orange can add a burst of natural flavor without the need for additional sugar.
- Vitamin C Boost: Citrus fruits are well-known for their high vitamin C content. Adding a slice of lemon, lime, or orange to your sparkling water not only imparts a refreshing taste but also adds a dose of vitamin C to your beverage. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that supports immune function, collagen production, and acts as an antioxidant.
4. Balanced Snacks:
Eating healthily provides the most energy. If you go to the convenience shop where you usually get an energy drink, try a protein bar with at least five grams instead. A balanced diet of carbs and protein will offer you a boost without causing caffeine withdrawal.
Snacks with minimal (or no) added sugars are also preferable but keep them under 10 grams. If you can’t locate a protein bar, consider these alternatives:
• Crackers with peanut butter
• Cheese and an apple or a mandarin orange
Did you realise that dehydration may reduce your energy? Drinking plenty of water during the day will keep you moving since you’ll be going to the toilet often. To stay hydrated and alert, drink water, coconut water, or iced herbal tea instead of coffee or soda. Half your body weight in ounces is the minimum daily water intake recommendation for adults. (Article: How Much Water Should You drink While Hiking and Why?
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Energy drinks have risen in popularity over the last several years, and sales do not seem to stop anytime soon. Despite their seemingly healthful promises, research nonetheless recommends avoiding them if feasible.
Overall, there are several better alternatives to energy drinks, making it easy to avoid them to safeguard your health. The optimum energy for constant effort comes from maintaining hydration and eating regularly spaced nutritious meals.Thanks for reading! If you think I forgot something or if you simply want to share a story or some advice, feel free to leave your comment below. Be safe and have fun.!