Many energy drinks are top sellers worldwide, with a global market size of over $57 billion in 2020.
While many enjoy the fun flavors, bright colors, and boost of energy, these drinks have more to them than meets the eye.
Energy drinks have been linked to various health conditions — we’ll discuss the dangers, talk about some of the worst on the market, and explore a better alternative to get the energy you need.
The Problem With Energy Drinks
People of all ages consume energy drinks, and their popularity keeps growing. But, while intended to boost energy, concentration, and alertness, they don’t work better than other natural alternatives and come with some significant issues, including:
- Energy drinks can cause heart problems. Energy drink use has resulted in heart problems requiring emergency room visits. They can also increase blood pressure and decrease blood vessel function. In addition, over 20,000 emergency visits are associated with energy drinks in the US each year.
- Many energy drinks are loaded with sugar. A small can of Red Bull has 27 grams of sugar, and a regular can of Monster has about 54 grams. That much sugar causes blood sugar levels to spike, particularly dangerous for people with difficulty controlling their blood sugar, like diabetics.
- They’re bad for children and teens. Around 31% of people aged 12-17 drink energy drinks regularly. However, they are bad for their health. Energy drinks can lead children and teens to become dependent on them and negatively affect their developing hearts and brains.
- Energy drinks and alcohol are a recipe for disaster. Mixing alcohol and energy drinks is common, especially among young adults. Not only does this combination lead to people consuming more alcohol than they meant to, but it also makes them six times more likely to have heart palpitations than alcohol alone.
Looking for a better way to boost your energy naturally? Try Breinfuel today — Sharpen your focus and concentration with ingredients derived from nature.
The Worst Energy Drinks: Avoid These 5
While it’s best to avoid most energy drinks you’ll find at the gas station or grocery store; these five are among the most popular and worst for your health:
1. 5-Hour Energy
At 200 mg of caffeine in a bottle of fewer than two ounces, 5-Hour Energy contains significantly more caffeine per ounce than other energy drinks. The serving size is half a bottle, but be honest; who really only consumes a single serving?
In addition, 5-Hour Energy contains over 20,000% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin b12, along with much-too-high levels of other supplements. While B vitamins are often found in energy drinks for their energy-increasing behavior, too much can lead to issues.
Not to mention in 2013, the company came under fire from the FDA when 5-Hour Energy was linked to 13 deaths and 33 hospitalizations.
Related: Athletes, Caffeine, and Science
Falling behind Red Bull as the most popular energy drink, Monster is still incredibly popular. We don’t see a problem with the 160 mg of caffeine; however, it contains quite a bit of sodium, a lot of sugar, and too many B vitamins to be effective.
Monster was also linked to a few deaths years ago, including a 14-year-old who suffered from cardiac arrhythmia after drinking two energy drinks.
Even though Monster warns children against drinking their energy drinks, they’ve come under heavy fire over the years for obvious marketing tactics to bring in young customers.
Even though Red Bull is the most popular energy drink (and highest selling) in the US, it’s banned in some countries — Uruguay, Norway, and France made Red Bull illegal, mostly because it includes taurine.
Plus, while its ingredients seem similar to many other energy drinks, it’s commonly consumed with alcohol (vodka & Red Bulls, anyone?), which results in a variety of health issues.
Those issues include higher chances of binge drinking, more incidents of injuries, and the fact that 42% of emergency department visits related to energy drinks involve combining them with alcohol.
Like many of the worst energy drinks, Bang markets its beverages as energy drinks for people who want to work out in a health-conscious way.
Besides 300 mg of caffeine, Band drinks also contain a “super creatine” blend — and the amount isn’t listed on the label. Creatine, an amino acid, is commonly added to sports drinks and isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
However, the problem comes from not knowing how much the brand’s blend contains. While it’s likely less than the recommended amount of five grams, you can’t easily track your creatine consumption when drinking Bang.
Too many amino acids can cause issues, including low blood pressure, bloating, and kidney distress.
5. Rockstar Xdurance
With the company’s “Xdurance” containing 400 mg of caffeine and being touted as a “healthy” beverage because it lacks calories and sugar, it’s anything but.
It’s marketed toward athletes and gym lovers, but when you mix that amount of caffeine and other ingredients like taurine with heart-pumping activities, it can be difficult on the body.
While caffeine is beneficial during exercise, too much can lead to cardiac arrest and “locked-up” arteries by disrupting the electrical activity of your heart. Generally, 400 mg is the maximum to take before working out (and typically only for people with high body weights), making Rockstar Xdurance right at the limit.
Breinfuel: The Natural Energy Drink Alternative
Breinfuel is the natural alternative to energy drinks, packed full of caffeine and healthy ingredients to energize your body and mind all day long.
Between the super-charged natural caffeine blend, antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and various nootropics and brain boosters, Breinfuel is the obvious choice over energy drinks like the ones listed above.
Related: What Are Nootropics?
Don’t take our word for it — see the science behind Breinfuel, and skip the energy drinks; keep going all day long with something better.Get the energy-boosting benefits of an energy drink without all the negatives — find your favorite Breinfuel flavor today!