Energy drinks such as Red Bull should not be confused with 'sports drinks' such as Gatorade. Sports drinks are supposedly to be used during a prolonged period of exercise, for example a tennis match. to hydrate the body as it loses these trace elements through sweat during exercise.On the other hand drinks such as Red Bull contain stimulants such as caffeine, guarana or taurine to name but a few, but no electrolytes; although both types contain sodium ..
There have been several research studies done into energy drinks, and although these are ongoing, it has been discovered that they can cause heart palpitations (you might even suffer from these if you drink coffee to excess) and they can also bring on bouts of anxiety and mood swings, just as amphetamines can.
Mixing such drinks with alcohol can be especially dangerous and could cause heart problems. They can also mask the effects of alcohol and someone who is in fact inebiated may not notice this state as the energy drinks seem to increase alertness, but in fact do not stop you being drunk, so you should never believe that you can drink and drive when you have had a few vodkas liberally laced with one of these.
If you have high blood pressure then you should avoid such drinks as they increase this and tend to make the blood coagulate or stick together which can cause blood clots and heart problems.
The British daily newspaper, The Daily Telegraph reported that "Energy drinks could be dangerous for children and teenagers" and went on to state that that the use of high-caffeine content energy drinks has been linked to "seizures, mania, stroke and sudden death "The research reported by The Telegraph was a study undertaken by researchers at the University of Miami, funded by the US National Institutes of Health.
This is because the recommended daily dose of caffeine for teenagers is 100 milligrams of caffeine per day and just one 8 ounce serving of an energy drink could contain more than that. Typically one of these will contain three to five times the amount of caffeine than a cola. Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) should not consume them as they can make them even more hyperactive, as well as causing irritability and insomnia.
The American Heart Association spokesperson, Dr. Magdalena Szotowska, told the delegates at the annual meeting of the European Society of Hypertension that as it had been found that drinks such as Red Bull could raise blood pressure as well as provoke irregular heartbeats, doctors should advise them patients who suffer from "hypertension, heart problems, and diabetes not to drink these." That means that approximately 40% of adults in America, those with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes, heart disease and hypertension are at risk if they consume energy drinks.
It has also been suggested that these drinks are associated with dental problems as the acidity of these can strip enamel from the teeth and the high sugar content can also contribute to cavities.
It should also be noted that despite the US FDA regulates the amount of caffeine put into sodas, such as cola, but does not regulate the amount in energy drinks.