Why to Avoid Energy Drinks (& What to Drink Instead)


Avoid Energy Drinks

We can all do with an appetite boost sometimes, yet store-bought appetite drinks are distant from a best option. The side effects of renouned appetite drinks competence warn you. Below I’ll uncover we how we use healthy appetite boosters, a frightful side effects in appetite drinks, and given we won’t see me with one in my hand.

Are Energy Drinks Bad for Your Health?

Even a many renouned appetite drinks exaggerate healthy plant ingredients, like ginkgo biloba and guarana… so are appetite drinks unequivocally that bad? That’s a million dollar question.

Let’s mangle it down:

What’s in an Energy Drink?

One of a many common mixture in appetite drinks is some arrange of sugarine (and lots of it). Caffeine, B-vitamins, plant and herbal extracts, taurine, colors, and flavors are other common ingredients. This will change by a accurate brand, yet this essay will cover a many common ingredients.


This is a star part in many appetite drinks and appetite shots, and one of a many familiar. The Mayo Clinic caps caffeine expenditure during 400 miligrams a day, that is still some-more than many people (especially kids) can safely handle. For comparison, an 8-ounce crater of coffee averages about 130 miligrams of caffeine. Compare that to a Red Bull appetite splash with 80 miligrams of caffeine, and Monster appetite drinks that operation from 115 miligrams to 184 miligrams of caffeine.

Why is caffeine a problem? Most of us have gifted a caffeine jitters during one point, or know someone who gets a small too connected after their latte… or four. Caffeine toleration levels change given of genetics and other factors, yet 500 mg of caffeine, or about 5 cups of coffee, can means caffeine toxicity.

Most of us demeanour during caffeine as an excusable health “vice,” yet Kathleen Miller, a comparison investigate scientist during a University during Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions, warns:

(Caffeine toxicity) includes headaches, tremors, heart palpitations and nausea. At high adequate levels – and this is sincerely startling – caffeine is poisonous adequate that for some people it can means seizures, mania, hallucinations, even strokes.

In addition, caffeine acts as a diuretic, dehydrating a body. Athletes and those who are downing appetite drinks during sports and activities competence knowledge critical consequences.


Another common part in appetite drinks is guarana. Guarana beans are identical to coffee beans, yet they enclose about twice as many caffeine according to this article. It’s nonetheless another approach appetite splash manufacturers adult a caffeine calm of their libation yet looking so apparent on a label.


This is one part in appetite drinks that competence indeed be good for you. Taurine is amino acid our bodies naturally furnish and can be found in healthy dishes like meat, fish, dairy, and breastmilk. It’s many expected combined to appetite drinks given some investigate indicates a mixed with caffeine peaks mental performance.

Taurine itself is indeed really useful to a physique and studies have shown it assists with weight loss, mitigates workout-induced flesh damage, and improves oxygen ride in a body. It’s also been used to provide congestive heart failure, among other conditions.

Sugar, Sugar, and More Sugar

Energy drinks all enclose high levels of sweeteners. For example, usually 1 little can of Red Bull contains 27 grams of sugar, or a homogeneous of 6.43 teaspoons.

Most appetite drinks opt for fuel options like glucose, fructose and sucrose, while some brands use synthetic sweeteners.

Sugar causes so many issues in a physique (read my full opinions on sugarine in this post). At a really least, it depletes minerals in a physique and can means insulin insurgency in high amounts. This 2007 investigate showed it to be even some-more addictive than cocaine!

Artificial Colors and Flavors

Depending on a brand, appetite drinks have a operation of healthy and synthetic colors and flavors. (I’m not certain given they need synthetic coloring given it’s going true from a can to your mouth!) Food dyes have been compared with behavioral issues (like ADHD) and cancer to name usually a few.

B-Complex Vitamins

Even a many compulsory appetite splash brands customarily supplement B vitamins. Some brands that call themselves caffeine-free instead reinstate a caffeine with large amounts of vitamin B12. While vitamins are compulsory and healthy, too many of a good thing can be a bad thing (especially when it’s removed and synthetic!).

So… Are Energy Drinks Good for You?

In a word, no.

Like many junk food, an appetite splash here and there substantially won’t have a catastrophic outcome on a body. However when mixed drinks are consumed and it becomes a weekly or even daily habit, that spells trouble. With a volume of toxins we’re unprotected to on a daily basement in a air, food, water, and a products we use (even notwithstanding a best efforts during avoiding them), appetite drinks usually supplement to that poisonous burden.

They Target Children

This to me is a biggest reason to take a tough line on appetite drinks: they are marketed to a kids. Caffeine is one of a usually opiate drugs that a child (teen) can buy during any store. Even worse, in a US caffeine calm in soda is regulated, yet not in appetite drinks. Compare that to countries like Australia that do extent a volume of caffeine in appetite drinks.

From 2005 to 2011 appetite splash compared puncture room visits jumped from 1,494 to 20,783. This statistic enclosed children younger than 6 years old. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that appetite drinks “pose intensity health risks given of a stimulants they enclose and should NEVER be consumed by children and adolescents.”

In usually an 8-year period, 34 deaths were reportedly compared with appetite splash consumption. That doesn’t even embody a unreported deaths, a heart events that didn’t outcome in death, and other critical health issues that occurred after immoderate appetite drinks. Most of those influenced are children and teenagers.

They Contain Dangerous Stimulants

Surely these kids were downing approach too many appetite drinks though, right? Wrong. People have died after celebration usually 1 or 2 appetite drinks.

Now that’s not to contend their competence have been other underlying health issues that also played a factor, yet it’s adequate for me to never give them to my kids!

A 2017 investigate published in a Journal of a American Heart Association found that a organisation who drank a unchanging appetite splash had aberrant heart rhythms and towering blood vigour for some-more than 6 hours. Even a control group, who was given flavored H2O with high amounts of sugarine and caffeine didn’t knowledge a same turn of inauspicious effects.

The appetite splash caused a 10 millisecond check in a heart’s beat, while medication drugs that means a 6 millisecond check are compulsory to lift a warning label.

They’re Not Regulated

It’s not startling that a US isn’t as difficult as other countries when it comes to appetite splash safety. By adding plant extracts like ginseng and ginkgo, appetite drinks can be regulated as dietary supplements, not food, and equivocate stricter reserve restrictions.

In 2011 Canada altered appetite drinks from being labeled and regulated as “natural health products” to food. Energy splash brands will reduce their caffeine calm in countries like Australia that have stricter restrictions, yet sell drinks with aloft amounts in a US.

Best Energy Drink Alternatives

While we won’t see me with a sugary, caffeinated appetite splash in my hand, infrequently this mom needs a healthy boost (especially with 6 kids to keep adult with!). Thankfully there are protected and healthy ways to get a appetite we need.

Here are some healthy “energy drinks” and snacks that won’t give a sugarine crash:

Chia Seeds

I use chia seeds a lot to thicken recipes, as an egg replacement, and for a nutritive boost. These little seeds are packaged full of omega-3s to reduce inflammation in a body. They enclose healthy amounts of energy-boosting B-vitamins and ancient cultures used them to foster appetite and endurance.

A 2011 investigate in a Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research totalled jaunty opening and found that chia seeds were usually as effective as appetite drinks!

Here are some tasty approach my family and we use chia seeds for energy:

  • Chia seed pudding
  • Chia seed fist pouches with juice
  • Coconut chia porridge (to start a day with energy!)
  • Wellness appetite bars
  • Chocolate coconut appetite bars

Homemade Chia Seed Kombucha Energy Drink

Kombucha naturally contains high (but still healthy) levels of B vitamins and is famous to boost energy, urge digestion, and clean a liver, among other benefits. Chia is an energizing powerhouse on a own, yet it’s even improved with kombucha. Get a recipe for this chia seed kombucha appetite splash here.


Ok, so this one still has aloft levels of caffeine than many beverages, yet it also has some health benefits. we don’t splash a cuppa each day, yet when we do we supplement even some-more nutritive ingredients, like collagen and coconut oil. Here’s my full take on a “is coffee healthy” discuss (hint: it depends).

Here are some of my favorite healthy coffee recipes:

  • Cold decoction coffee
  • Superfood vanilla latte
  • Coffee kombucha
  • Bulletproof coffee
  • Mushroom coffee (yes, really!)

Not a coffee drinker? Here are some other options.


Different varieties of tea enclose varying caffeine levels, creation it easier to adjust a decoction to your needs. we equivocate inexpensive bagged tea given it’s not as high peculiarity as lax root options, nonetheless an organic bagged tea isn’t as bad.

Note: we splash immature and oolong teas sparingly given they can have naturally occurring fluoride that causes issues for those of us with a thyroid problem.

  • Yerba partner tea
  • Oolong tea
  • Green tea
  • Matcha immature tea

Homemade Electrolyte Drink

Proper hydration is naturally invigorating! For sports and hiking, we use this homemade sports splash subsitute.

Are Energy Drinks Healthy? The Verdict

Replace “energy drink” with “caffeine and sugarine drink” and we have your answer. Obviously many people rest on them, yet not for a right reasons. If you’re looking to boost energy, you’re really improved off celebration a potion of lemon H2O or dual to start a day, removing outward for some sunshine, and finale a day with a full night of sleep!

This essay was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical recommendation and we suggest that we speak with your doctor.

Do we splash appetite drinks? What are some healthy ways you’ve found to boost energy?


  1. Thompson, D. (2017). Energy Drinks May Give a Heart an Unhealthy Jolt.
  2. Lenoir, M., Serre, F., Cantin, L., Ahmed, S. (2007). Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward. PLOS.
  3. Illian, T., Casey, JC., Bishop, PA. (2011). Omega 3 Chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 1, 61-5. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181fef85c.
  4. Statista. (2018). Leading appetite splash brands in a United States in 2017, formed on sales. [Online Article].
  5. Mayo Clinic. (2017). Caffeine calm for coffee, tea, soda and more. [Online Article].
  6. Fitzpatrick, M. (2011). Energy splash labels to enclose warnings. [Online Article].
  7. Center for Science in a Public Interest (2014). Documents Link More Deaths to Energy Drinks. [Online Article].
  8. Zeratsky, K. (2018). Taurine is an part in many appetite drinks. Is taurine safe? Mayo Clinic. [Online Article].
  9. Weil, A. (2017). Can Any B Vitamins Be Harmful? [Online Article].
  10. Consumer Lab. (2017). Can Taking Too Much B-12 Be Dangerous? [Online Article].
  11. Oregon State University. (2015). Pantothenic Acid [Online Article].


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here