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Last Updated: 18. April 2016

Put Down the Energy Drink and Pick Up a Coffee

 

Most people will agree that they feel that they work better after having some sort of caffeinated beverage. Many choose coffee as their means of an energy boost. But more and more people are starting to drink energy drinks. Is it just due to personal preference or is there concrete evidence for choosing one over another?

In regards to caffeine, coffee has more caffeine per ounce that most energy drink. So what is the appeal? Many people report that they feel the effects of an energy drink much quicker that coffee. However, as opposed to coffee which is sipped, an energy drink is sweetened with sugar, making it easier to consume quickly. It is logical to consider that the rate in which the drink is consumed has an influence on the speed in which the effects of the caffeine can be felt.

If both drinks are capable of adding pep to your step, are delivery mechanisms the same? Coffee is an all natural beverage, water infuses with the ground coffee beans and you have your final product. Energy drinks on the other hand contain more than just caffeine and water. Usually they are a combination of caffeine, amino acids, vitamins, and various herbs. If that was all then it probably wouldn't be so bad, but that’s not all. Energy drinks are often full of sugar, artificial preservatives and sweeteners, flavors, and dyes. A single Monster Energy Drink has 54 grams of sugar, that's more than a can of Coca-Cola!

But what evidence is there that energy drinks have an adverse affect on the human body? In that question lies the problem, there simply hasn't been enough research done on the topic to reveal conclusive results.

From the limited research that has been done, the American Heart Association highlights some ways in which these high-caffeine beverages may impede natural heart function. Results showed that healthy people aged 18 to 45 who drink energy drinks can have disrupt heart rate and raised systolic blood pressure by an average of 3.5 points. The most noticeable of which was people who’d consumed one to three energy drinks had an irregular heartbeat. Specifically, the QT interval, which measures the time it takes for the heart to rest before taking its next beat, was longer than normal. Consequences of which could result in “heart muscle thickness, some forms of heart disease, and even heart failure.” Doctors also say that drinking energy drink frequently can cause you to become increasingly more tolerant to their effects. This can put you at higher risk for unconsciously developing more serious underlying heart problems in the future.

The old mantra of everything in moderation certainly rings clear for energy drinks as well. But with there being so many health benefits of drinking coffee, why not put the energy drink down and get your caffeine fix from good ol’ coffee, as nature intended?

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