What energy drinks contain
Energy drinks they contain, in addition to water, which is the main ingredient, various stimulating substances, sugars, aromas and, sometimes, even vitamins and mineral salts. Their composition varies according to the specific product; in general, however, the stimulants that are found most often are the following:
- Caffeine. It is an alkaloid found in several plant substances including coffee beans, cocoa beans, tea leaves and guarana berries. It has a tonic effect on the heart and cardiovascular system; it increases the attention threshold and blocks the fatigue messages that reach the brain. Its action is well documented in the scientific literature. At high doses, especially in some categories of particularly sensitive people, caffeine can cause serious side effects, including agitation, tachycardia, increased blood pressure, tremors.
- Taurine. It is a naturally occurring amino acid, especially in meat and seafood. It is added to energy drinks with the aim of enhancing the effect of caffeine. Its action in energy drinks is not yet well documented by clinical studies; however, according to l'EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), the safety margin with respect to taurine exposure for energy drink drinkers is a maximum of one and a half cans per day.
- Glucoronolactone. It is a carbohydrate found naturally in the human body. According to EFSA this ingredient is not harmful from a safety point of view.
- Guarana. It is a plant with stimulating effects, as it contains caffeine.
Some other substances that can be found in energy drinks are capsicin, with a vasodilating function; ginseng extract, with a tonic function; green tea, stimulant, and ginger.
The Risks of Energy Drinks
As sugary drinks, energy drinks promote overweight and obesity. As stimulant drinks, however, they can interfere with the activity of the nervous system, especially in younger people, whose bodies less tolerate the effects of caffeine.
The greatest risk related to the consumption of energy drinks relates to the association with thealcohol, more and more fashionable.
These drinks can feel like they're fighting the sedative effects of alcohol, but that's not the case, it's just a 'illusion, a very dangerous illusion. The symptoms of intoxication are only masked; in reality the attention threshold remains low and the sleepiness is only hidden. The impression of feeling less drunk and, consequently, less tired and less confused, leads to irresponsible behavior, such as driving a car while intoxicated.
This risk becomes even greater if we consider that often, feeling the symptoms of intoxication less, we tend to drink more than we normally would, putting ourselves in even more danger.
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