Debunking Food Myths – Energy Drinks

Energy drinks have more caffeine than regular coffee.

What is the amount of coffee typically found in energy drinks?
1 can of red bull (250ml) has about 80mg of caffine whereas a cup of coffee (250ml) has about 104mg of caffeine. If we compare these two beverages with the same amount, a cup of cofffee has higher caffeine content (30% more). The volume of beverages a person drinks plays a part in total caffeine intake too.

What do energy drinks really do for you?
Energy drinks are promoted as enhancing behavioural outcomes by reversing the effects of fatigue and consequently increasing alertness and endurance. The common ingredients, which can be found in a regular energy drink, include caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone, sugars and other B vitamins and herbal extracts. These ingredients have different effects on body functions, however, their perceived functions are not conclusively proven by research to be effective in energy drinks.

Some studies claim that caffeine is the only core ingredient that is responsible for the stimulatory effects of energy drinks. Caffeine is a stimulant – it stimulates the central nervous system, giving the bdoy a sense of alertness and dilates blood vessels. It raises the heart rate and blood pressure and dehydrates the body.

Is there a maximum amount of energy drinks that one should not exceed in a day?
It is recommended not to consume more than 3 cans of energy drinks a day because of its caffeine content.

Which is more detrimental to health then?
Caffeine overdose (>300mg) can affect sleep patterns, cause headaches, dehydration and fast heartbeat. Caffeine is naturally found in coffee beans whereas the caffeine in energy drinks is made with chemicals. Other common ingredients found in energy drinks are also artifical. Hence, it is recommended to consume energy drinks and coffee in moderation (not more than 3 regular servings of caffeinated drinks such as energy and coffee daily).

This article is taken from our My Alvernia Magazine Issue #24. Click here to read the issue on our website.