Your Energy Drink Addiction Might Be Killing You. (Seriously)

Energy drink time bomb
Energy drinks are a ticking time bomb for your health.

Advice your mother would give if she loved you:

  • Brush your teeth.
  • Wear clean underwear.
  • Don’t consume energy drinks.

(She also told you not to drink pop and you didn’t listen, did you? Well, energy drinks take all that is bad about pop to a whole new level. (1,2)

Just to be clear, when we say energy drinks, we are talking about beverages containing high levels of caffeine and sugar that give you an instant jolt of energy and a smattering of other supplements such as vitamins and amino acids that are supposed to enhance mental and physical performance.

News flash: The inconsequential splash of vitamins doesn’t even begin to make these drinks healthy, says an ever-growing list of critics. (3)

Long term consumption of these products can have disastrous health outcomes such as high blood pressure, obesity, insomnia, tooth decay and kidney damage.

Short term consumption can also have disastrous consequences like a visit to the emergency ward when your heart stops functioning.

Emergency room visits linked to energy drink consumption have soared around the world. (4) There are lawsuits over deaths linked to them. (5) But you knew all this anyway, right? And you don’t care. The blunt warnings about energy drinks have been a permanent feature in the headlines since 1985 when Jolt Cola was introduced with the slogan: "All the sugar and twice the caffeine.” (6)

People love their energy drinks

Next to multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement for young adults, especially males. (7) Thirty-one percent of children aged 12 to 17 years are regular customers. Amongst 18- to 24-year-olds it’s 34 percent. Global market size is anticipated to reach $84 billion by 2026 (8)

From 2003 to 2016, energy drink consumption increased significantly for adolescents (0.2 percent to 1.4 percent); young adults (0.5 percent to 5.5 percent); and middle-aged adults (0.0 percent to 1.2 percent), according to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

From 2003 to 2016 per capita consumption of energy drinks increased from 1.1 to 9.7 calories for young adults. Energy drink consumers had a much higher caffeine intake compared with non consumers. Middle aged adults who drank energy drinks had 348.8 mg of caffeine compared 219.0 to abstainers. (9)

Some (not very good) reasons people choose energy drinks

“Monster Energy is way more than an energy drink. Led by our athletes, musicians, employees, distributors and fans, Monster is a lifestyle in a can!” Google link to Monster Energy home page. (10)
  • They wake you up. They get you moving. They get you thinking. (At least, until the inevitable energy crash when you turn into a couch-bound zombie with heart palpitations.)
  • You get the caffeine hit quicker in a cold brew than with hot coffee which has to be sipped. (Caffeine takes about 30–60 minutes to reach its maximal concentration in the blood and effects tend to last between three and nine hours, depending on the person. So overdosing on caffeine is a lot easier with energy drinks than it is with coffee) (11)
  • They’re in stores everywhere and they’re a cheaper caffeine fix than a Java Chip Frappuccino. (And just as unhealthy.)
  • A standardized amount of caffeine in each can. You know exactly how much caffeine you’re ingesting so you can carefully manage your caffeine intake. (Or so the theory goes. A 2012 Consumer reports investigation tested 27 popular energy drinks. Eleven didn't list the amount of caffeine on the label. Among the 16 products that did, five had more than 20 percent more caffeine than the label claimed. One had about 70 percent less. (12) And, c’mon, do people who buy energy drinks really care about managing their caffeine intake?)
  • They contain healthy ingredients like taurine, B vitamins, ginseng, and glucuronolactone that may provide long-term benefits. (If you're relying on caffeine and sugar-loaded energy drinks to get your vitamins and minerals you might want to rethink your diet.)
  • They’re refreshing. After all, who wants a hot caffeinated beverage after a strenuous workout? (There are post-workout drink options that are equally refreshing and have the added bonus of actually being good for you.)
  • Faster recovery after exercise: (No, no, no. High doses of caffeine and sugar are not effective post-exercise drinks.)
  • They come in a multitude of flavors and options and you can even get them with zero calories thanks to artificial sweeteners. (Which may be just as unhealthy as sugar.) (13,14)
Blank billboard
Big billboards shout the benefits of energy drinks but do they really work?

Don’t believe energy drink advertising

They’re convenient, cheap, provide instant energy, boost athletic performance, increase attention, help with weight loss and dispense with that inconvenient need for sleep. And, oh yea, they make you more sexually attractive.

Many of the claims made by the manufactures of energy drinks are based on exaggerated science or on no science at all, caution health experts. (15)

What researchers have to say:

“Advertising for energy drinks usually features increased muscle strength and endurance, but there is still no scientific consensus to support these claims. Energy drinks have been associated with health risks, such as an increased rate of injury when usage is combined with alcohol, and excessive or repeated consumption can lead to cardiac and psychiatric conditions.” (16)

A sports cardiologist:

“When used safely and with moderation, energy drinks may have some short-term, performance-enhancing effects. However, users are generally unaware of the many potential adverse reactions that could have long-term effects, some of which are quite serious. . . . What I say to people who are studying is to avoid energy drinks. And to people who are exercising, avoid them." Dr. John Higgins, chief of cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital(17)

The American College of Sports Medicine:

“Regardless of health and fitness level, and until such time that proper safety and efficacy data are available, energy drinks should be avoided before, during or after strenuous activities.” (18)

An addiction treatment center:

“It is important not to understate the long-term side effects of energy drinks. Their varying caffeine content leaves consumers open to dangerous health effects such as high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, gastrointestinal problems and insomnia.” Northpoint Recovery (19)

Lawyers:

“Energy drink companies have taken a page out of Big Tobacco’s advertising book and are selling products that endanger lives by selling the idea that drinking them makes us “cool”. They use athletes as spokespeople to target our egos and sell us a lifestyle . . . But, there’s nothing cool about the number of adverse effect claims reported to the FDA. Nothing cool about the amount of emergency visits related to energy drinks every year.” (20)

Energy drinks are a world-wide problem

A Swedish study identified a number of cases with severe symptoms and deaths possibly linked to energy drinks. (21)

Germany’s tracking system indicates that since 2002, energy drinks have caused “liver damage, kidney failure, respiratory disorders, agitation, seizures, psychotic conditions, rhabdomyolysis, tachycardia, cardiac dysrhythmias, hypertension, heart failure, and death.” (22)

Ireland and New Zealand each reported around 15-20 serious complications from energy drink consumption over a period of about four to six years apiece (Ireland from 1999-2005, New Zealand from 2005-2009). (23)

Some countries are taking action

  • In the European Union, France, Denmark and Norway were among the first to restrict sales. Europe’s highest court backed a French ban on Red Bull in 2004, but that decision was effectively overturned in 2009, with courts noting that while countries had a right to prohibit the drinks, they had not in this case demonstrated a health risk. (24)
  • Russia’s majority-Muslim state Chechnya banned the sale of energy drinks to minors, with a deputy health minister directly comparing the beverages to beer, restricted under Islam. Latvia has also considered prohibiting sales to people under 18, while Lithuania has pushed to ban advertising to minors instead.
  • Mexico has some of the world’s toughest energy-drink restrictions, according to market research firm Euromonitor International. Sales are taxed by 25 percent, pushing the average price of a liter to about 66 pesos ($5.00). Mexico’s senate banned sales to people under 18.
Empty hospital bed
Energy drinks can lead to hospital visits or worse

Deaths linked to energy drinks

  • In 2011, a 14-year-old American girl consumed two 24 ounce cans before going into cardiac arrest.
  • In 2013, a mother filed a lawsuit against an energy drink company for the death of her 19-year-old son who consumed three drinks in the 24 hours prior to his death and about two to three a day for the previous years.
  • In 2015 a 19-year-old U.S. man reportedly drank three and then collapsed while playing basketball and died at hospital.
  • In the U.S., four people suffered adult-onset seizures and the only common finding was that all had consumed large amounts of energy drinks.(25)
  • In 2009 an Australian suffered a fatal cardiac arrest after drinking seven to eight cans . (26)
  • A Nigerian man died after drinking eight cans on a $100 bet.
  • A Japanese man died from drinking too many, along with possible intake of caffeine pills. (27)

But will energy drinks help my workout?

Not so much.

In limited doses and with certain individuals in certain types of training, maybe.

Caffeine , the main ingredient of energy drinks, blocks adenosine receptors, making the brain more alert. It may also increase stimulation of the central nervous system, making exercise seem like it involves less effort and pain. (28)

In high-intensity activities such as resistance training or sprinting, it may increase the number of fibres used in muscle contractions, meaning movements can be more frequent and forceful.

Studies are inconclusive

Research on whether caffeine improves strength is mixed, say the people over at Straight Health.

“Among studies that saw an increase in strength, one study found it was effective for upper body strength but not lower. Another study found caffeine improved lower body strength but not upper. Other studies did not find any strength improvements with supplementation.
Caffeine may have limited benefits for some individuals in resistance and strength training. It’s probably not a magic pill that makes or breaks a strength routine. It can however, slightly increase strength, delay fatigue, and improve endurance performance.” (29)

“It can, in the right circumstances, improve athletic performance,” says Dr. Erin Duchan, a pediatrician and co-author of a review of the current science about energy drinks for athletes. (30) “But the amounts of caffeine required to boost performance vary wildly from person to person, and the effects typically are lessened once an athlete is used to caffeine, she points out.

Athletes may be sponsored by energy drinks, but it’s unlikely they actually drink them, says Team USA. (31)

"You are losing body fluids through perspiration. Caffeine compounds dehydration further.” warns dietitian Dee RollinsRollins. (32)

“If you have already had a cup or two of coffee in the morning, adding a can of energy drink can put you over the amount of caffeine most dieticians think is a reasonable limit for the day.”

High voltage meter
Energy drinks might give you a boost of energy but at what cost?

But energy drinks get me motivated

“If I have to get up at 4:30 am to make it to the gym by 5:00 am to make it to the office by 8:00 am, post-shower, etc., I don’t really care what effect an energy drink has on my performance. It got me to the gym in the first place, which is worlds better than over-sleeping.” - a response in the comment section of a New York Times article about the hazards of energy drinks. (33)

Energy drinks can give you an initial boost of energy, but they actually end up reducing mental and physical energy levels,” says energy and fatigue specialist Ari Whitten who has produced a podcast on why energy drinks cause fatigue. (34)

"Fatigue is an inevitable side effect of energy drink consumption” he says. Excess caffeine, high sugar content, and calories without fiber are a few of the causes.

“Orexin is a wakefulness controlling neurotransmitter in the brain. Orexin is what makes us feel “up” awake, energized, and ‘peppy’. But if you are drinking energy drinks regularly, your orexin is being suppressed all the time, and there is less orexin in the body to produce that feeling of high energy.”

Better ways to get motivated

There are much healthier ways of motivating yourself than energy drinks, says Dave Spurr, Head Coach of Only Training, a Premium CrossFit Training Company and PanAm Games Gold Medalist.

"Let's have a look at your sleeping, look at your water, your nutrition and figure out why you rely on energy drinks. A small cup of coffee is fine for a boost but if you are dependent on it, its a problem,” he warns.

“It is less likely that you ‘aren’t a morning person’ and more likely you are missing something in your life. You need to address those issues first before saying you need energy drinks. If you address these factors the need for these drinks will disappear.”

Where does the kick in energy drinks come from?

Caffeine and sugar mostly

Caffeine is a fat-soluble chemical that easily passes from the bloodstream into the brain tissue, explains Livestrong. (35)

It doesn’t give energy, so much as it provides the illusion of energy. An illusion that is short-lived and unsustainable.

“Your brain activity is controlled by chemicals called neurotransmitters, which either stimulate brain cells or quiet them. Adenosine is a quieting neurotransmitter. Caffeine attaches to adenosine receptors on your brain cells, blocking the quieting effect of this neurotransmitter.”

The increased activity of your brain cells under the influence of caffeine leads to a secondary rise in the amount of epinephrine in your body. Epinephrine is the ‘fight or flight’ hormone, which has stimulating effects on your brain and body.

“When adenosine is blocked through consuming high quantities of caffeine, it causes neurons in the brain to activate. Thinking the body is in an emergency, the pituitary gland initiates the body’s “fight or flight” response by releasing adrenaline. This hormone makes the heart beat faster and the eyes to dilate. It also causes the liver to release extra sugar into the bloodstream for energy,” says Suzanne Farrell, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. (36)

All of these physical responses make you feel as though you have more energy,”

Stacks of sugar cubes
Energy drinks are often loaded with refined sugars and artificial sweeteners.

The short and sweet sugar high

Thanks to its easy digestibility and high glucose content, sugar is a fleeting source of energy.

Researchers collected data from 31 studies on nearly 1,300 adults to look at the effect of sugary foods and sweetened drinks. Sugar didn’t improve mood or alertness. In fact, it seemed to increase the energy slump. And that fatigue increased at an hour after sugar consumption. (37)

“Our study provides clear evidence against the idea that sugar ingestion can improve mood,” said lead study author Konstantinos Mantantzis, Ph.D., of Humboldt University of Berlin. “More importantly, our results show that, if anything, sugar consumption might make people more tired and less alert shortly after its consumption.”

How are energy drinks unhealthy? Let us count the ways

“It is a striking inconsistency that, in the U.S. an [over-the-counter] stimulant medication containing 100 mg of caffeine per tablet (e.g. NoDoz) must include [a series of] warnings, whereas a 500 mg energy drink can be marketed with no such warnings and no information on caffeine dose amount in the product.” Researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (38)

Caffeine is the most popular psychoactive drug in the world. More popular than nicotine or alcohol. It is being added to more and more products such as cereals, drinks, candies, and medications and being consumed in ever greater amounts by adults and children.

Many studies have shown caffeine to be benign and even healthy. Other studies have shown even small amounts can have undesirable side effects.

“These benefits are measurable and numerous; the negative impacts, equally, are statistically and clinically significant,” noted researches in a study on how caffeine effects sleep quality.

“Studies are limited by the sheer pervasiveness of caffeine in the modern diet, and the popular consensus about the “benefits” of caffeine clearly drives some of these 'benefits'. A further complication is what appears to be high variability in individual response to caffeine, including the suppression of sleep.” (39)

So how much caffeine is safe to consume?

The FDA has cited 400 milligrams of caffeine a day—about four or five cups of coffee—as a moderate amount not generally associated with negative effects. (40)

“That's roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two "energy shot" drinks,” agrees the Mayo Clinic. (41) The John Hopkins Medical Center suggests, 200–300 mg. (42)

There’s no lower limit to caffeine levels because there is no nutritional need for it.

But for many people, perhaps for genetic reasons, even one cup of coffee can be too much, producing symptoms such as insomnia, nervousness, irritability, stomach upset, fast heartbeat and restlessness. (43)

Government building
The government has been slow to react to energy drinks.

Tougher regulations urged

Many energy drinks contain about the same amount of caffeine as as a similarly-sized cup of home-brewed coffee and about half that of a similarly-sized coffeehouse coffee, complain drink manufactures who say their drinks are unfairly targeted for high caffeine levels. (44)

However, many popular energy drinks or energy shots have significantly higher levels of caffeine than that found in coffee, and the ease with which they can be consumed along with aggressive marketing targeting teens and young adults leads to excess consumption, say health officials. (45)

"Excessive use of energy drinks has been linked to life-threatening heart rhythm irregularities, high blood pressure, seizures, obesity, diabetes and miscarriage.” says cardiologist Dr Alessandro Giardini. "They can also increase high blood pressure and they can overstimulate brain cells, leading to seizures.” (46)

In one recent test, 34 medical students showed notably diminished blood vessel function after drinking a 24-ounce energy drink. (47) In another experiment, U.S. soldiers given 32 ounces of two commercially available energy drinks, experienced high blood pressure and a change in their heart’s electrical signalling. (48)

Perchance to dream . . . energy drink's effect on sleep

Researchers at Michigan’s Henry Ford Hospital’s Sleep Disorders & Research Center and Wayne State College of Medicine analyzed the sleep-disruptive effects of caffeine consumption at different lengths of time before bedtime. They found that caffeine consumed even six hours before bedtime resulted in significantly diminished sleep quality and sleep quantity. (49)

Without adequate sleep the human body will not function at its best, physically, mentally, or emotionally, warned Charles Czeisler, a neuroscientist and sleep expert at Harvard Medical School in a National Geographic article. (50)

"The principal reason that caffeine is used around the world is to promote wakefulness, But the principal reason that people need that crutch is inadequate sleep. Think about that: We use caffeine to make up for a sleep deficit that is largely the result of using caffeine.”

One energy drink calls for another

The two main players in energy drinks, caffeine and sugar, are addictive.

In addition to being highly palatable, sugar has a high "hedonic value," meaning you experience pleasure when you eat it, according to research collated by David A. Kessler, former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is also reinforcing, meaning the more you do it, the more you want to do it. (51)

Sugar, like cocaine, amphetamines and nicotine, has a powerful impact on the reward system in the brain called the mesolimbic dopamine system. The neurotransmitter dopamine is released by neurons in this system in response to a rewarding event. (52)

C’mon, I’m not addicted to my coffee. I just need it in the morning or I’ll die.

Is caffeine addictive? The debate is ongoing. (53)

Some argue that, like any drug, it can be addictive. The more caffeine you drink, the more you become used to it and need higher doses to get the buzz. Others say it’s merely habit forming; the withdrawal symptoms are too mild to call it an addiction. (54) .

However, regular, sustained caffeine consumption can lead to changes in brain chemistry .

As discussed earlier, brain cells produce more adenosine receptors as a way to compensate for the ones blocked by caffeine. In turn, the higher amount of receptors requires higher amount of caffeine to achieve the same "caffeine fix." Abruptly cutting off the caffeine supply suddenly leaves the brain with a lot of free receptors for adenosine to bind to. This can produce strong feelings of tiredness and is thought to be the main reason behind the caffeine withdrawal symptoms that often arise from going cold turkey.

Really, you don’t need the extra sugar in energy drinks

. . . the flies, drunk with moist sugar in the grocer's shop, forgot their wings and briskness, and baked to death in dusty corners of the window. - Charles Dickens

Added sugar (not the stuff in fruits and vegetables) is as bad for you as it is for the flies in Dickens novel The Old Curiosity Shop - really, really bad for you. (55)

It is has been called the single worst ingredient in the modern diet and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture the average American consumes more than 150 pounds of it every year. That’s around 32 teaspoons a day.

About ten to 12 teaspoons daily is the recommended maximum although our bodies would be quite happy if we didn’t even have one. (56) Complex carbohydrates -- whole grains, fruits and vegetables -- provide ample supplies of glucose for your energy needs while also furnishing an array of other useful nutrients.

What about energy drinks that use artificial sweeteners? Zero calories!

Great news, right? No calories! Guzzle away.

Not so fast, says Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity and weight-loss specialist at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital.

“Whether non-nutritive sweeteners are safe depends on your definition of safe. Studies leading to FDA approval have ruled out cancer risk, for the most part. However, those studies were done using far smaller amounts of diet soda than the 24 ounces a day consumed by many people who drink diet soda. We really don’t know what effect large amounts of these chemicals will have over many years. (57)

But there are other concerns beside cancer. In the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, daily consumption of diet drinks was associated with a 36 percent greater risk for metabolic syndrome and a 67 percent increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Participants in the San Antonio Heart Study who drank more than 21 diet drinks per week were twice as likely to become overweight or obese as people who didn’t drink diet soda, he also noted.

Bright coloured chemicals
Many energy drinks ingredient panels look like a science experiment gone wrong.

What about the other ingredients in energy drinks?

“Contrary to popular marketing, the presence of high doses of vitamins, such as niacin, do not make a beverage healthy. People drink an energy drink with the expectation that they will ‘feel something’ and when they do, they think the product must be working. But foods and drinks should never cause side effects. A niacin overdose resulting in skin flushing, increased heart rate, or sweating due to stimulants is actually considered an adverse event by health care experts. - the U.S Anti-Doping Agency (58)

Some common ingredients in energy drinks: (59)

  • Ephedrine - A stimulant that works on the central nervous system. It is a common ingredient in weight-loss products and decongestants, but there have been concerns about its effects on the heart.
  • Taurine - A natural amino acid produced by the body that helps regulate heart beat and muscle contractions.
  • Ginseng - A root believed by some to have several medicinal properties, including reducing stress and boosting energy levels.
  • B-vitamins - A group of vitamins that can convert sugar to energy and improve muscle tone.
  • Guarana seed - A stimulant that comes from a small shrub native to Venezuela and Brazil.
  • Carnitine - An amino acid that plays a role in fatty acid metabolism.
  • Creatine - An organic acid that helps supply energy for muscle contractions.
  • Inositol - A member of the vitamin B complex (not a vitamin itself, because the human body can synthesize it) that helps relay messages within cells in the body.
  • Ginkgo biloba - Made from the seeds of the ginkgo biloba tree, thought to enhance memory.

Concerns about how the ingredients interact in energy drinks

"Overall, the concern is that these vitamins, amino acids and herbals are often in higher concentrations than naturally in food or plants, and the effects when combined especially with caffeine may be enhanced," says Katherine Zeratsky, a clinical dietitian at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.(60)

Dr. John Higgins, a sports cardiologist with McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston who has led multiple studies on energy drinks and health impacts, says more research needs to be done to determine how those ingredients could interact to cause negative health effects.(61)

"We found an association between consuming energy drinks and changes in QT intervals and blood pressure that cannot be attributed to caffeine,” says Dr Sachin A. Sha, of the University of the Pacific in California who headed a recent study analyzing the impact of energy drinks on heart function. (62)

"We urgently need to investigate the particular ingredient or combination of ingredients in different types of energy drinks that might explain the findings seen in our clinical trial."

Bottles of liquor
Something to stop you from snoozing at the bar might be putting your health at risk.

Alcohol makes energy drinks even more dangerous

Hmmm . . . add alcohol to drinks overloaded with caffeine and sugar. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot, actually.

Alcoholic energy drinks may even change brain neurochemistry in adolescents in much the same way cocaine does. (63)

Drinking alcohol mixed with high-caffeine energy drinks could be more risky than drinking alcohol on its own, or with a more traditional mixer. Canadian researchers found a link between intake of alcohol mixed with energy drinks and an increased risk of falls, fight and accidents. (64)

This could be because it can make people "wide awake drunk" - a result of the stimulating effects of caffeine and the brain-slowing effects of alcohol. (65)

Drinkers who mix alcohol with energy drinks are more likely than drinkers who do not mix alcohol with energy drinks to report unwanted or unprotected sex, driving drunk or riding with a driver who was intoxicated, or sustaining alcohol-related injuries. (66)

Are there healthy energy drinks?

Healthy energy drinks are a burgeoning trend, although they face a significant brand issue because the 'energy drink' market has come to be identified with unhealthy beverages high in sugar and caffeine.

There are many products coming on the market that contain no caffeine or sugar and feature natural ingredients that have healthy long-term health benefits.

Leading the way in this market are adaptogens.

Adaptogens are non-toxic plants that are marketed as helping the body resist stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical or biological. These herbs and roots have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions, but they’re having a renaissance today.

The effects of adaptogens often seem subtle. This is because they are simply helping the body to perform its usual functions in a more effective manner, by adding ATP (energy) and creatine phosphates (power) for support. Thus, in completing a difficult workout, the effects of adaptogens will be displayed in mental and physical perseverance, stamina and endurance. - Box Pro (67)

Adaptogens may do for your adrenal glands what exercise does for your muscles, says Dr. Brenda Powell, co-medical director of the Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. (68).

“When we exercise, it’s a stress on our body. But as we continue to train and exercise, our body becomes better at dealing with the stress of it, so we no longer get as tired or as high a heart rate,” she says. When you take adaptogens, meanwhile, “you’re training your body to handle the effects of stress.”

Powell says the plants do this by interacting with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathoadrenal system, both of which are involved in the body’s response to stress. Adaptogens may tweak hormone production and physiological responses to stress to ensure that your body—from your mind to your immune system to your energy levels—functions as it should, she says.

One of the first products to take advantage of the benefits that adaptogens provide is METTA Natural Awareness Beverage. The company behind Metta says its drink, free of caffeine and added sugars, contains clinically effective amounts of four adaptogenic herbs, ginseng, rhodiola, schisandra, and astragalus. (69)

Metta all-natural energy drink alternative
Metta is an all-natural alternative to traditional energy drinks that is stimulant free.

CBD oils generating excitement

“Any serious athlete has the obligation to, at the least, explore CBD and its ability to heal. Antidotes are antidotes. CBD provides one of the first real opportunities to expand your fitness plan without compromising your health.”(70) former NFL punter Steve Weatherford

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are two natural compounds found in plants of the Cannabis genus. CBD can be extracted from hemp or from marijuana. Hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3 percent THC, while marijuana plants are cannabis plants that contain higher concentrations of THC.

Although CBD and THC can provide relief from several of the same conditions, CBD doesn’t cause the euphoric effects (the high) that occur with THC.

A wide variety of producers are infusing CBD and THC into all sorts of beverages, including tea, soda, cider, margaritas and wine, with a range of concentrations, from small doses of 2.5 milligrams of THC per container to high-potency doses of 100 mg per container.

Post-exercise benefits

Reduced aching, reduced inflammation, help with gastric issues and improved sleep quality and the chance to quit using NSAIDs, are some of the potential benefits of these products. (71)

According to a 2018 review of 132 original studies published in Frontiers in Neurology, CBD reduces inflammation and helps improve pain and mobility in patients with multiple sclerosis. “It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective,” the review study’s authors wrote. (72)

Reunyte, a new ‘natural recovery’ drink combines hemp oil, adaptogens and electrolytes to reduce inflammation, increase recovery and boost performance. (73)

This is expected to be a $1.4 billion market by 2023, according to Zenith Global. That’s up from $89 million in 2018. (74)

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  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/energy-drinks-worse-your-heart-caffeine-alone-study-n751686
  3. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/energy-drinks.
  4. https://undark.org/article/kids-energy-drinks/
  5. https://www.energydrinkslawsuit.com/
  6. https://web.archive.org/web/20100326144613/http://www.joltenergy.com/about.html
  7. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/energy-drinks
  8. http://itresearchbrief.com/energy-drink-market
  9. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190429125416.htm.
  10. https://www.google.com/search?q=monster+energy&oq=monster+energy&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l2j69i60l3.14975j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8,
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  12. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20121025/how-much-caffeine-energy-drink#1
  13. (https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/artificial-sweeteners-sugar-free-but-at-what-cost-201207165030
  14. https://www.cnn.com/2016/01/18/health/where-do-we-stand-artificial-sweeteners/index.html)
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4682602/
  16. ibid
  17. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/energy-drinks-shouldnt-be-consumed-by-kids-organization-says-020918.html
  18. https://www.acsm.org/read-research/newsroom/news-releases/news-detail/2018/05/15/energydrinks
  19. https://www.northpointrecovery.com/blog/link-energy-drinks-addiction/
  20. https://www.energydrinkslawsuit.com/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › pmc › articles › PMC4197301
  22. https://www.popsci.com/energy-drinks-caffeine-blood-vessel/
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3065144/?dom=prime&src=syn
  24. https://qz.com/18879/will-bans-cost-energy-drinks-their-kick/
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4197301/
  26. https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2009/190/1/cardiac-arrest-young-man-following-excess-consumption-caffeinated-energy-drinks
  27. https://www.caffeineinformer.com/a-real-life-death-by-caffeine
  28. https://theconversation.com/can-coffee-improve-your-workout-the-science-of-caffeine-and-exercise-92366
  29. https://supplementdatabase.com/articles/caffeine-strength/
  30. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/phys-ed-do-energy-drinks-improve-athletic-performance/
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