As winter approaches and the days become shorter, many people may find themselves feeling drained and turning to energy drinks for a quick pick-me-up. However, according to Dr. Kaitlin Mirkin, a bariatric surgeon, relying on these drinks to combat fatigue may not be the best option.
Dr. Mirkin explains that our bodies naturally receive cues to go to bed and hibernate with the decrease in daylight hours. Relying on energy drinks can disrupt these natural sleep patterns and have negative effects on blood pressure, heart rhythm, anxiety levels, digestion, and hydration.
Sadly, a recent case highlights the potential dangers of energy drinks. A 46-year-old man passed away after consuming three highly-caffeinated Panera Charged Lemonades. This tragedy emphasizes the need to be cautious when consuming these beverages.
To illustrate the recommended limits, the American Heart Association advises adults to limit caffeine intake to 400-600 mg, while teenagers should aim for 100 mg. Surprisingly, a can of Monster brand energy drink contains just 86 mg of caffeine.
Aside from caffeine, energy drinks are also often packed with sugar. This high sugar content poses an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Despite their colorful packaging and sweet flavors that appeal to teens and kids, Mirkin advises against their consumption as they can impact developing cardiovascular and neurovascular symptoms.
Combining energy drinks with alcohol poses yet another concern. The mixture can mask the effects of intoxication, leading individuals to mistakenly believe they are less intoxicated than they actually are.
While an occasional energy drink is unlikely to cause harm to a healthy individual, moderation is key. Instead of relying on these beverages, Mirkin suggests alternative ways to boost energy and fight the winter doldrums, such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a well-balanced diet.
In conclusion, as winter approaches and energy levels potentially decline, it is important to be mindful of the potential dangers of relying on energy drinks for a quick fix. Dr. Mirkin advises against excessive consumption due to its disruption of natural sleep patterns, potential negative health effects, and high sugar content. It is crucial to prioritize healthy habits like exercise, sleep, and a balanced diet to maintain energy levels and ensure overall well-being.