Picture this: You spent the night tossing and turning, only to wake up to the rambunctious buzzing of your alarm and the realization that you slept only a few hours, at best, without disruption. You're feeling exhausted, stressed and unenthusiastic about starting your day, but the show must go on. You could always reach for an energy drink to give the engine some gas - but is that your best option? After all, consuming caffeinated sugary beverages for an energy boost has been known to increase health risks, most commonly related to heart problems. In fact, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reported that the number of energy-drink related emergency room visits nearly doubled between 2007 and 2011, with an increase of 279 percent in people over the age of 40. What Makes Energy Drinks Harmful? While energy drinks tend to contain B vitamins, as well as guarana and taurine, they're also loaded with large amounts of caffeine, added sugars and other refined ingredients. But don't think you're off the hook just because drinks include vitamins and natural additives. According to clinical dietitian Katherine Zeratsky, the high concentration of all ingredients - including the natural ones - is what makes these beverages so harmful. "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," she told CNN.Side Effect of Drinking Energy Drinks What are these effects Zeratsky is speaking of? Specifically, you may experience an over-the-top energy rush, followed by a debilitating crash just hours later. Other side effects that come with consuming energy drinks include:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure levels.
- Heart palpitations.
- Digestive issues.