Are energy drinks bad for you?
It's an innocent enough question, but one that's a bit trickier to answer.
Is having one in a blue moon going to kill you? Probably not, but after that - it starts to get a bit more nuanced.
What happens if you pound can after can of red bull or monster without a care in the world? Do pre-workouts count? We'll break it all down for you so you can have the energy you need while still living a long live full of impossible things.
What are the negative effects of energy drinks?
Okay, let's get down to brass tacks - what's the negative effects of energy drinks?
Energy Drinks + Alcohol
Energy drinks mixed with alcohol can cause all sorts of issues. in addition to large amounts of caffeine late at night - you're mixing uppers with downers and this can cause you to over-drink as well as underestimate your level of inebriation and make bad decisions.
This can cause all sorts of bad events that cascade from those decisions, but this is common in all alcohol-related situations and is not exclusive to energy drinks.
Energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine. If you're taking these throughout the afternoon or evening - scientifically speaking - they're going to jack up your sleep cycles. More scientifically speaking - your circadian rhythms.
This can cause other mental health, anxiety or insomnia - all of which are no bueno.
This is our personal least favorite. Most energy drinks are packed with sugar. Whatever increase for your lifestyle you're getting is probably counteracted with the fact that you're basically drinking a well-branded can of coke. If you care about fitness and health, this is the thing we'd be most upset about. If you induce type two diabetes because of energy drinks - that's a bad, bad deal.
Yes, lots of energy drinks have sugar-free versions, but those contain tons of artificial sweeteners that we have beef with for different reasons.
What happens if you drink energy drinks every day?
So what happens if you drink energy drinks every day? Well this question already starts out with a caveat. Is it an 8oz, 12oz, or a 20oz? Do you have a direct IV line into your vein? If so...we need an introduction.
The main concerns are outlined with caffeine and sugar consumption.
If you're doing nothing but pounding drinks every day - you could have some serious heart issues.
If you're using them in conjunction with endurance workouts- you might actually see improved performance.
If you're taking them after 6pm, you're going to have a wrecked sleep schedule and probably wonder why you're up at 4am in the morning.
It all has to do with the dose and timing. If you're trying to lose weight, sugary beverages of any kind are not going to do you any favors.
That said - if you use them smartly (and especially find the healthy energy drinks we outline below), they can be helpful to your goals.