by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
You see them in just about every store you go into, and they are becoming increasingly popular for people who's get up and go has got up and went and they begin to feel tired and drawn out. Now all they have to do is reach in a store's cooler and get an energy drink. After a can of this powerful elixir, the eyes widen and the heart begins to race, and the next thing you know, you can’t find enough things to keep you occupied.
But what’s in these cans of dynamite that recharges and gives the body an energy make-over? Well according to researchers, it’s a "high" dose of caffeine, and with such high doses, they are seeing an increasing number of emergency room visits from "caffeine junkies". The number of visits have doubled in the last 4 years, the same period of time in which these supercharged drinks have gained popularity in convenience stores, bars, and college campuses. From 2007 to 2012, the number of emergency room visits went from 10,000, to more than 20,000. That has forced the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services to declare energy drinks a health problem. Depending on the amount consumed, high doses of caffeine can cause insomnia, nervousness, headaches, rapid heartbeats, and seizures that are severe enough to require emergency care.
Emergency room physicians have seen an increase in patients suffering from irregular heartbeats, anxiety, and heart attacks. If you drink 3 16oz cans of an energy drink, that’s equivalent to drinking 15 cups of coffee. Now the makers of these drinks call them completely safe, and drinking them in moderation will not cause any ill effects, but of course they are all profit motivated. And the most recent drink that’s becoming more and more popular is "5 Hour Energy." That little bottle of "go fast" promises 5 hours of pure energy with no ill effects once the "jet fuel" wears off. But the catch here is that not every body has the same metabolism, and what’s okay for one person could be a problem for some one else.
So now the choice is yours but I will say this, if you have medical problems, or if your heart is questionable, I would ask your doctor about drinking energy drinks to be safe.
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