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How Energy Drinks Affect Health

By Lana Bandoim

After a long day of meetings and conference calls, there is still a large stack of paperwork to complete. You reach for an energy drink because coffee is not enough. Although energy drinks can help people get through paperwork or other tasks, they may not be safe. Consider the following health consequences of relying on energy drinks.  

Common Ingredients

Most energy drinks have high levels of caffeine, but this is not the only ingredient. Other common ingredients include sugar, amino acids, herbal extracts and vitamins. The combination of these ingredients is supposed to help you stay alert, awake and focused.

Heart Problems

Consuming a large amount of caffeine can affect the heart. One metal can of a regular energy drink can have more caffeine than four cups of coffee. In addition, most people drink several energy beverages a day and do not realize how much caffeine is in them. They do not bother to read the ingredient list.

Caffeine can cause heart palpitations, high blood pressure, faster heart rate, anxiety and dehydration. In addition, it can affect the rhythm of the heart.


Most energy drinks have high levels of sugar. They may have more sugar than a can of soda. Consuming enormous amounts of sugar can increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular problems. In addition, sugar is linked to higher levels of inflammation in the body. If you have ongoing inflammation, then the risk of chronic diseases also increases.

Herbal Extracts

From guarana to ginseng, many energy drinks have herbal extracts. However, there are multiple questions about their safety. They may create problems for people on some medications, so it is important to talk to a doctor and discuss the potential risks of herbal extracts. For example, guarana should not be combined with blood thinners. In addition, some extracts have been linked to digestive problems.


Combining energy drinks with alcohol or coffee can be risky. Studies show that mixing energy drinks with alcohol can increase the risk of binge drinking and lead to more hospital visits. This type of combination can make it more difficult for people to keep track of their alcohol consumption.

Instead of relying on energy drinks, consider other ways to stay alert and focused. Adjust your sleep or work schedule. Try exercise or stretches to boost performance. Think of creative ways to increase energy that do not require medications, drinks or caffeine.  

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Noblesville, Ind.

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