Are energy drinks addictive? and do they have a high potential for harm.The answer is yes, this is due to the fact that anything with the ability to alter how someone feels can drive them to get hooked to it if they do not like how they now feel.
Addiction is the inability to quit and maintain a stop from engaging in behaviour that is harmful to oneself and/or those around one. Anyone who consumes an excessive amount of energy drinks could be considered an energy drink addict because they can be quite harmful.
Sugar and caffeine are addictive
Sugar and caffeine are two main components of energy drinks that alter how individuals feel. These are the primary two elements that cause the need for energy drinks, while some of the other additives might also have an impact.
Both caffeine and sugar will provide an energy boost. They will cause the brain to release feel-good hormones.
People may seek the high once more when they recover from this and return to a more normal condition. This is especially true if they don’t enjoy their “regular” state of feeling.
Their body will also become more resistant to coffee and sweets. Therefore, more of it will be required for the same result. Everything turns into a vicious circle.
As a result, using energy drinks is frequently linked to other addictions. This refers to things like alcohol, narcotics, cigarettes, and behavioural addictions like sex, relationships, gaming, and/or gambling.
The Magazine of Addiction Medicine, a peer-reviewed medical journal, reports that some specialists believe energy drinks may potentially encourage substance abuse. However, it’s also possible that those who utilise drugs are far more prone to also drink energy drinks.
Some people will also develop addictions psychologically. This is because they will persuade themselves that without an energy drink, they cannot work as hard or as effectively.
Another factor is that those who regularly take energy drinks may have withdrawal symptoms like weariness, headaches, irritability, and depression when they stop doing so. Since they are unable to think of any other method to fix this other than to consume another energy drink, they want for another one.
Fortunately, any addiction may be overcome. But in almost all cases, this calls for the assistance of a specialist in addiction.
What are the contents of energy drinks?
A combination of carbonated water, caffeine, B vitamins, sugar, or high-fructose corn syrup is used to make the majority of energy drinks. Taurine, guarana, ginseng, creatine, ginkgo biloba, yerba mate, aça, carnitine, inositol, glucuronolactone, and maltodextrin are other frequent constituents.
Caffeine is the main psychoactive component of energy drinks. On average, energy drinks contain three to five times as much caffeine as cola beverages.
Perhaps because of this, colas, along with coffee and tea, are not regarded as energy drinks, despite the fact that they are stimulants. Sports drinks are different from energy drinks because they are designed more for rehydration.
Who consumes energy drinks?
It is evident from the enormous global demand for them that consumers of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds partake in energy drinks. However, they appear to be most well-liked among younger individuals and manual labourers.
Perhaps it is obvious that energy drink producers actually market their products to children and teenagers. Street King, Rockstar, Rip It, Relentless, Monster, Hype Energy, Cocaine, Rowdy Energy, Urge Intense, Beaver Buzz, and Bang are just a few of their names that illustrate this.
In fact, self-report surveys show that 30 to 50 percent of teenagers and young people take energy drinks. A third of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 frequently take energy drinks.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) reported that men between the ages of 18 and 34 use the most energy drinks.
With an average consumption of 29 litres per person in 2021, America had the biggest per capita volume of energy drink consumption in the world. The United Kingdom came in second with an average consumption of 13 litres per person. Spain finished in second with 10 litres, followed by Japan with 11 litres.
What health hazards are associated with energy drinks?
Consuming too much caffeine and sugar in energy drinks poses the biggest health danger. A stimulant of the central nervous system, caffeine.
This affects the brain in a way that makes people feel alert. By preventing the neurone transmission system that alerts us to our fatigue, it achieves this.
The average healthy adult can safely ingest 400 mg of caffeine daily, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). This is equivalent to two typical 250 ml energy drink cans or about four cups of coffee.
Excess sugar is harmful to our physical well-being since it makes us gain weight and makes our artery walls inflamed and stiffer, which is terrible for our hearts.
But it also impairs our ability to regulate ourselves and think clearly. The effects of sugar on the brain’s reward centre cause us to develop increasing cravings for it.
Young people, expectant women, competitive athletes, people who have had seizures, people with diabetes, caffeine-sensitive persons, people with mental disorders, and anyone who has cardiovascular issues are particularly at risk for complications from energy drinks.
Additionally, excessive alcohol intake might result from energy drinks. This is due to the fact that caffeine’s stimulant effects can sometimes mask the effects of alcohol.
Therefore, combining alcohol and energy drinks can raise the risk of both risky behaviour and alcohol-related injuries. With, for instance, almost 25% of college students saying they often drink alcohol with energy drinks, this is a rising issue.