What’s really in Energy Drinks?
It’s not exactly a secret that the consumption of energy drinks isn’t good for you, but plenty of people function on the odd sugary drinks and probably more caffeine than they should without a noticeable infringement on their otherwise good health. Energy drinks are often marketed to look like a healthy, refreshing quick fix however; something for people on the move who need an extra boost to see them through their busy lives. The truth is much more sinister – there’s some real nasty ingredients in them that can have short and long-term effects on your physical and mental health. Off Grid investigates exactly what’s inside traditional mainstream energy drinks… and what that means for the person drinking them.
B Vitamins; but too many
Aha, the word ‘vitamin’! That must mean it’s healthy, right? Wrong. Whilst it’s true that we all need a reasonable intake of B vitamins; some well-known energy drink brands contain much more than your recommended daily allowance. British high street brands include up to 200% of an adult’s recommended daily limit of B vitamins and niacin. Regular consumption of this quantity will result in liver toxicity, gastrointestinal problems and blurred vision. Vitamin B12 is found in Off Grid but in a healthy amount, to help maintain your energy levels without any nasty side effects.
The amino acid Taurine
An amino acid that only seems to have gained mainstream recognition as an energy drink ingredient, taurine regulates the amount of water and minerals in blood flow. You need a little of it for exactly that purpose, but most energy drinks contain well over the recommended amount and when mixed with caffeine, sugar and certain herbs, it lowers blood pressure drastically. It can also be addictive so when you think you crave your daily energy fix, it may actually be this protein you fancy.
You expect caffeine to be present in energy drinks, and probably in quite a good dose so that you feel the immediate ‘lift’ you’re accustomed to. Energy drinks on the British market contain the caffeine equivalent of six or seven cups of strong coffee – which is more than you should need to see you through the day. Drinking caffeine at this level causes headaches, dizziness, irritability and dehydration during withdrawal, so you find yourself wanting to top up with more. You can quickly become dependent on caffeine and long-term, it can cause digestive issues, nausea and migraines.
Ginseng, Guarana and Gingko Biloba
These three ingredients are herbs and are commonly found in health food and drink products; which is where confusion easily arises. On their own, they’re perfectly fine for human consumption and can have health benefits, but when mixed (particularly with sugar and caffeine), their herbal properties jump into overdrive and become dangerous. These herbs can result in rising blood pressure, heart palpitations, headaches, insomnia, fatigue and even kidney failure – so these must be consumed only with extreme care. You’ll find guarana in Off Grid, but in a healthy and balanced blend that allows it to work to its correct potential.
These ingredients may seem like natural additions to an energy blend, but they’re actually the opposite; and this is before we’ve even considered sugar, sugar substitutes and artificial colours and flavours! Enhance and nourish your body with a natural energy boost instead and try out Off Grid.