Energy drinks, not to be confused with sport drinks used to rehydrate the body, have become extremely popular over the past few years with young adults and teens alike. This has become an over 5 billion dollar industry in North America.
Manufacturers claim their products boost your energy and increase mental alertness. However, the side effects caused by some of the ingredients concern a lot of health experts. Energy drinks, such as 5-hour Energy, Red Bull, Rockstar, and Monster, which often appeal to children, can and will cause headaches, migraines, insomnia, cardiac arrest, type 2 diabetes, medication interactions, jitters, nervousness, vomiting, and allergic reactions. Even addiction and risky behavior are side effects of energy drinks and shots. Furthermore, they tend to cause dehydration.
Hydration, particularly from water, is critical to maintain temperature, digest food, transport nutrients to cells, cushion organs, lubricate the joints, keep skin healthy, and eliminate toxins and waste from your body. Did you know that a vast majority of the human body is made up of water? If you’re dehydrated, you may even mistake thirstiness for being hungry and over eat. Sweating and urination eliminate water from the body, and by the time the signal of thirst is reached, moderate dehydration may already be occurring. It can be difficult to catch up on the water needed if the dehydration is severe enough. Later indications are fatigue, headache, chills, nausea, lightheadedness, lack of sweat, and increased heart rate. The general guidelines for water intake are 8 glasses of water a day (or 64 oz.). If you exercise vigorously, you may need to up your water intake to more than the general guidelines. Besides water, another great way to incorporate hydration into your diet is through vegetables and fruits.