Are Energy Drinks Good or Bad for You?


Energy drinks like Bangs, Celsius, Red Bulls, Monsters, and Alani Nus are extremely popular among both teens and adults. If you drink any of these energy-boosting drinks regularly, there is a high chance someone has told you they are not good for you. I have decided to investigate and learn whether these drinks, which are well-liked among SHS students, are truly harmful to our bodies or not. I also wanted to discover if the benefits outweigh the negative effects. First, let us look at the positive effects of energy drinks.  

What is the purpose of drinking an energy drink? Does it do your body any good? According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, “The large amount of caffeine in energy drinks provides the consumer with desirable effects of improved memory, increased alertness, and elevated mood.” Furthermore, energy drinks tend to do what the consumer wants: people who desire this quick burst of energy and elevated mood can easily turn to these drinks to do the trick. Ahmed Alsunni, a Physiology professor at the Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University College of Medicine, goes on to mention that consumption of energy drinks can improve athletic performance. However, it is also important to note that improvements in sports only appeared in some cases when the study was conducted, not all.  Similarly, an article by Alan Behrens from the website Positive Negative Impact states, “Drinking them in the right amounts produces alertness, productivity, and wakefulness.” In other terms, they can help motivate individuals to be productive by giving them energy. In his article, Behrens also states, “Energy drinks contain several health beneficial ingredients, such as taurine, ginseng, glucuronolactone, and B vitamins.” Taurine is proven to play major roles in the heart and brain, support nerve growth, and is found in meat, fish and eggs. Similarly, ginseng can improve brain function. According to Healthline, “Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for years.” Therefore, many ingredients in energy drinks are harmless, beneficial to certain parts of the body, and can improve functions, not to mention the wide variety of flavor of these popular drinks.  

While these benefits may be making energy drinks sound wonderful, it is important to look at the negative health effects before forming an opinion on them. According to Dr. Alsunni, “Significant cardiac manifestations, such as ventricular arrythmias, ST segment elevation, and QT prolongation have been documented following energy drink overconsumption.” Furthermore, energy drinks can cause serious cardiovascular issues. Many teens’ arguments against this is that they will not be affected because their bodies are so young. Contradictory to this, Dr. Alsunni states, “Atrial fibrillation has been reported after high energy drinks ingestion in two healthy boys, 14 and 16 years of age.” Furthermore, teenagers are not excused from the health consequences of their beverage choices. When drinking energy drinks, it is important to remember the risk you are putting your body at, no matter your age or health. Not only is it highly likely that energy drinks will negatively affect your heart, but energy drinks have also been proven to take a toll on the brain. Dr. Alsunni states that after drinking drinks with more than 200mg (about twice the weight of a business card) of caffeine, a person will likely experience, “anxiety, insomnia, and gastrointestinal upset, muscle twitching, restlessness, and periods of inexhaustibility.” Therefore, many neurological, gastrointestinal, and muscular system issues may occur after consuming energy drinks. As if these negative side effects are not enough to stop someone from drinking Red Bulls, Alanni Nus, Monsters, Celsius, and Bangs, violent behavior is also strongly correlated with energy drink consumption. Dr. Alsunni writes, “A study of adolescents between 15- and 16-years-of-age demonstrated a strong correlation between caffeine intake and violent behavior as well as conduct disorders.” On top of cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, muscular system, and violence issues being caused by energy drink consumption, they also are found to damage metabolic rate and may cause dental issues. Furthermore, despite occasionally improving memory and focus, energy drinks cause many detrimental health effects.  

In conclusion, there are a few possible benefits to drinking energy drinks, but there are a multitude of negative health effects. It is also important to note that not all the consequences for drinking energy drinks have been listed in this article, and there are many more things to consider. After learning at least a few of the positive and negative effects of drinking energy drinks, hopefully you can now make smart choices when choosing a beverage for your overall health. In the end, it is up to YOU to decide if a few minutes of “energy” are worth putting your body at risk.