Are Energy Drinks Bad For You?

20 November 2019

In today’s article, we’re writing a follow on to our ‘why high sugar soft drinks are bad for you’. In that post, we only touched on today’s subject matter. The Energy Drinks market.

Every day when I do the school run, I see teenage kids walking to school drinking cans of Monster, Red Bull, Powerade, or Lucozade. I think to myself, do they really need to drink this ‘rat piss’ first thing in the morning or at any other time of the day come to think of it. 

What are the health effects on young people when they consume energy drinks with large amounts of added sugar, artificial sweeteners and caffeine, because I can’t see it being a happy ending. I also see people drinking them in their cars without knowing the long term effects of energy drinks on their body.

How Do Energy Drinks Affect Your Health?

We will look at some of the larger brands and all the ingredients used in these so-called ‘energy drinks’ that are aimed at young adults. Health Bunker will review some of the mainstream science out there, that shows the health risks attached to caffeine in energy drinks, the issues caused when we mix energy drinks with alcohol. We will also show some of the end results of having too many energy drinks.

Science Daily an online American site that brings together then publishes press releases about science says;

“We summarize the consequences of energy drink consumption, which include heart, kidney, and dental problems, as well as risk-seeking behaviour and poor mental health,” says Dr Josiemer Mattei, Assistant Professor of Nutrition based at Harvard.

The CDC reported that 15-23-year-old drinkers who mix energy drinks with alcohol are four times more likely to binge drink at a higher intensity. Consuming more alcohol in shorter periods.

Are Diet Energy Drinks Bad For You?

So here go the top 5 leading UK brands of energy drinks along with some worrying ingredients and their associated health problems;

  1. Red Bull has 3.8 million users here in the UK, making it the most popular energy brand in the UK. In each 250ml can of Original Red Bull, there is 27g of sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup, artificial flavours and colourings.
  2. Lucozade Energy was second selling 3.4 million drinks. Contains artificial sweeteners; Aspartame and Acesulfame-K, 30g of Glucose & Sugar per 330ml bottle, Phenylalanine, Artificial flavourings and colourings.
  3. Lucozade Sport was third selling 3 million. Contains 32.5g of total carbohydrates including Glucose and Sugar also Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame-K), Caffeine, Flavouring and Colours, & Phenylalanine.
  4. Boost over 1 million people guzzle this energy drink. Contents, Sugar 12.5g, Glucose-Fructose (High Fructose Corn Syrup), Phenylalanine, Artificial flavourings and colourings, Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame-K), Caffeine, and Phenylalanine.
  5. Monster Energy (we covered Monster in our sugary drinks article).


What Are The Disadvantages Of Energy Drinks?

The Side Effects of Energy Drinks on the Human Body – Ingredients;

Phenylalanine; Can cause high blood pressure, symptoms of anxiety, jitters and hyperactivity in children. High doses may be toxic and can cause long term nerve damage. Some mild side effects are nausea, heartburn and headaches.

Glucose-Fructose or High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS); causes inflammation, an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease (CVD, cancer, metabolic disease and fatty liver disease).

Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame-K);  We have already covered Aspartame in an earlier post, Acesulfame-K – Methylene Chloride is a carcinogen it is one ingredient in this product. Long term exposure can cause headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, visual disturbances, kidney problems, liver issues and cancer in humans.

Caffeine;  Red Bull says that their caffeine content is less than a cup of coffee. Side effects in adults and children, nervousness, restlessness, jitters, anxiety, headaches, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, stomach issues, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, altered heart rhythm, respiration issues and other side effects.

Sugar; Premature ageing, long term excessive consumption can cause damage to skin proteins, depletion of collagen and elastin, premature wrinkles and ageing. Constant cravings, low energy, bloating, weakened immune systems, insomnia, weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and more especially this, sugar feeds all known infections and diseases like cancer.

Ammonia Caramel; Concern over caramel colouring health effects are widespread. Processing carbohydrates and ammonia under extreme temperatures can produce a toxic byproduct called 4-methylimidazole (4-Mel), this substance can cause convulsions, and increased cancer risk in animal studies published. 4-Mel can also reduce immune functionality.

The global increasing energy drinks market size was valued at $53 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at 7.20% to reach $86 billion by 2026. And I can safely predict a rise in associated illnesses.

Health Bunker

The dangers of energy drinks, especially for children and adults are quite clear, we only have to research the ingredients. Scientific evidence shows that energy drinks have serious health effects, particularly in children, teenagers and young adults. Especially when mixed with alcohol.

Studies have proved that energy drinks can improve endurance in sport, but manufacturers do not have to declare the amounts of caffeine their products contain. Large amounts of caffeine can cause serious heart and blood vessel problems such as heart rhythm disturbances.

Caffeine may also harm a child’s still developing cardiovascular and nervous systems. Recent deaths of some super-fit marathon runners, extreme sportspeople and some professional footballers, rugby, and NFL players from sudden heart failures have all been linked to high consumption of energy drinks.

Professional sportspeople who are sponsored by these companies should take a long hard look at themselves. They are selling their souls and they are encouraging kids to drink these toxic juices. Lewis Hamilton (Monster) being one of them. Monster is part of his $57m annual salary, he may as well be advertising cigs.

It’s a joke that energy drinks are sold as products that improve health and fitness when the opposite is true.

Eat Well. Be Well.

Dom and Nic
Health Bunker
It’s Your Life. Own it!

*Disclaimer – Please note, we are not Doctors or trained medical professionals. We are not giving medical advice. Check with your Doctor or health practitioner before trying anything.



Science Daily
Kids Health
world health organization high fructose corn syrup amino acid