While energy drinks are a popular pre-workout choice with almost anyone heading to the gym, they aren’t sports drinks and can be very lethal.
Ok, we get it, everyone needs an energy boost every now and then, but energy drinks is not the safest way to go. The biggest misconception around them, is the fact they aren’t sports drinks, and drinking them before or during hard exercise can have lethal outcomes.
The main difference between sports drinks and energy drinks lies in the ingredients. Yes, they are not the same thing at all.
Common ingredients in sports drinks are carbohydrate like glucose, glucose polymers, sucrose and fructose, and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium, and maybe even some protein and vitamins. These ingredients help replace essential nutrients that your body loses due to movement and sweating, and in that sense are good for you.
On the other hand, the recipe for energy drinks is very different. While sports drinks might contain caffeine, caffeine happens to be the main ingredient in energy drinks. Caffeine is a great energy booster and people drink it every day, but it is dangerous when combined with similar substances, like guarana plant extract, ginseng and taurine, all of which are usually found in energy drinks.
There are two reason energy drinks are dangerous. The first is that energy drinks don’t give you energy, instead, the high levels of caffeine affects your central nervous system and tricks your body into believing it has the energy to go on, whether it really does or not.
The second reason they are dangerous, which is one that you’d like to take in consideration, is that they can significantly change your blood pressure and heart’s electrical activity. Recent studies have proven that as many as one can of energy drink could result in dangerous heart altercations.
We don’t expect you to take our word for it, Google the effects of energy drinks on the heart and you’ll be shocked by the number of people who have died from a few cans of energy booster.
Doctor Emily Fletcher, deputy pharmacy flight commander from David Grant USAF Medical Centre at Travis Air Force Base in California, recently published a study on the effects of energy drinks on the heart and found “significant prolongation of the QTc interval 2 hours after energy drink consumption when compared with caffeine,” while “systolic BP remained significantly elevated over the caffeine control at 6 hours post energy drink consumption.”
You can read Dr. Emily Fletcher’s full study on Journal of the American Heart Association.