Energy drink is amazing.It’s a quick hit of caffeine so it’s fine right?! RIGHT?!Whether you drink to ward off a 3 p.m. energy drop or fuel a lethargic workout, there’s a burgeoning should-I-or-shouldn’t-I debate surrounding energy drinks that’s impossible to ignore.
There’ll be many of you reading this (some of you possibly with an energy drink in your hand) who’ve been tagged by your mates as an attempt to get you to stop. Well, you can do it. Just quit for a few days. Get someone to lock you in your room if that helps. Because once you stop drinking them, you’ll never want one again. So before you reach for an artificial pick-me-up, see what’s going on in your body while you’re sipping.
Your brain: Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a brain chemical that helps you sleep (which is why too much can lead to insomnia). But it also fires off neurons in your brain to keep you alert, causing your pituitary gland to initiate the “fight or flight” response. That’s your body’s natural reaction to prepare for a threat.
Your bloodstream: After the “fight or flight” response is activated, your pituitary gland releases adrenaline, which sends a signal to your liver to pump more glucose (a.k.a energy) into the bloodstream.
Your heart: Adrenaline makes your heart beat faster and your eyes dilate, effects that can last longer than you might like. In fact, a recent German study found that healthy people who drank caffeine and taurine-packed energy drinks saw increased heart contraction rates up to an hour later.
Back to your brain: With more glucose in your bloodstream and your body in fight-or-flight mode, the increased dopamine levels trick your brain in to believing that you have more energy than you really do.
Your skin: Sweat excessively while exercising and you’ll lose water and electrolytes—both of which sports drinks work to replace. Reach for an energy drink after that, though, and you’ll only dehydrate yourself more.
Your body: Too much caffeine can produce a diuretic effect, which can also mean dehydration. If you overdo it, you could feel jittery, anxious, and irritable from too much of the stimulant and a lack of water.