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Energy Drinks

Weight Gainers

Energy drinks are beverages which are designed to give the consumer a burst of energy. Energy drinks are a great relief when you are dead tired and the finishing line is just a step away. But every good has an equal bad. Energy drinks have a high caffeine content, which is harmful for the body. Energy drinks are considered to be a great way of boosting up the energy with ingredients like caffeine, sugar, and other energy-boosting herbs.

Nowadays, energy drinks have become a common choice of beverage. Sugar and caffeine are the two major ingredients in energy drinks. The ingredients are legal, and are added to give an instant energy boost. These drinks are commonly known as soft drinks.

Often, numerous stimulants are combined in energy drinks, and the interactions of these stimulants may not be fully understood. Some common inclusions are yerba mate, guarana, and ginseng, along with amino acids such as taurine and carnitine. Other stimulant ingredients are inositol, creatine, and glucuronolactone. Many of these substances are naturally created in the human body through metabolic processes, although not in the high volume used in energy drinks. Sugars such as maltodextrin help to contribute to the feeling of a rush after consuming a drink.

Although they are called “energy drinks,” these beverages are not suitable for athletes. Drinks specifically formulated for sports should be used instead, as energy drinks can destabilize the electrolyte balance in the body, leading to serious health problems. These beverages are also sometimes combined with alcohol, which can be a dangerous combination, as the drinker may feel more alert than he or she actually is, leading to potential errors in judgment.

How do Energy Drinks Actually Work?
Even though these non-alcoholic beverages are more than popular among masses, not many people can actually boast of knowing how they facilitate that 'sudden burst of energy'. In order to understand that, one needs to know what these energy drinks are made from. If you look at the list of ingredients featuring on their cans, you will realize that caffeine is the primary ingredient. These drinks also contain sugar, taurine, maltodextrin, creatine, etc. Other than that, Ginkgo biloba, guarana, and ginseng extract also happen to be the key constituents of these energy boosters. The list and quantity of ingredients differs from one brand to another.

What Do They Contain?
The most common ingredients that energy drinks contain are caffeine, taurine, maltodextrin, guarana, ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, carbonated water, and creatine. They play a crucial role in various activities of our body. Of all these ingredients, caffeine a stimulant which is also found in tea and coffee is the most important. As far as the caffeine content of energy drinks is concerned, it can range anywhere between 80 - 300 mg per 16 oz. serving. Being a stimulant, it basically stimulates our nervous system. Taurine, on the other hand, helps in regulating the heart rate and muscle contraction. Some of these drinks also contain sugar and artificial sweeteners which are added to improve their taste.

How Do These Drinks Work?
Like we said earlier, it's all about the ingredients in them. When we consume energy drinks, the caffeine content in them counters the effects of adenosine in the body and speeds up neuron activity in the brain. This instigates the pituitary gland to release adrenaline as a part of the body's fight or flight response. Adrenaline release increases heartbeat and prompts the liver to release extra sugar in the bloodstream, thus producing more energy.

Energy Drinks

Taurine is naturally produced in our body. When we resort to strenuous physical activity, the taurine levels in our body fall by a significant extent. In such circumstances, when we drink energy drinks, the taurine in them replenishes taurine levels in our body and makes us feel energized. Like caffeine and taurine, even other ingredients that are used in making these beverages promote alertness, relieve stress, increase endurance, and so on.

Energy Drink Ingredients
1. Caffeine
Most energy drinks contain caffeine as a main ingredient. The medical name of caffeine is trimethylxanthine. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and increases the heart rate. It also acts as a mild diuretic (increases urine production in the body). Caffeine stimulates the human brain and is addictive.

2. Taurine
Taurine is an amino acid which increases the effect of caffeine. Taurine is also an effective cardiac stimulator. This amino acid is naturally secreted by the human body which regulates the heart rate, muscle contractions and energy levels of the body.

3. Guarana
Guarana is a major source of caffeine and is a climbing plant. The seeds of the fruits of Guarana has three times more caffeine than that in the coffee beans. It is commonly used and increases the metabolic rate of the human body and helps in reducing weight.

4. Ginseng
Ginseng is a herb which increases the energy levels in the human body. It has anti-fatigue components that helps in reducing stress. Ginseng is said to stimulate the nervous system to increase the overall stamina of the body and increase the secretion of hormones in the body. There are some adverse side-effects of this herb on the human body. These effects are headache and diarrhea which are likely to happen if it is consumed along with caffeine.

5. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba comes from a rare tree and is an anti-depressant. This ingredient increases concentration and blood circulation in the body. However, if this ingredient is consumed when you are already on anti-depressant medicines, it has major side-effects. These side effects include diarrhea, palpitation, and headache.

6. Vitamins
Inositol is a classified member of the Vitamin B complex and is said to increase the immunity of the body. Antioxidants are the scavengers of free radicals and Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant.

7. Sugars
Sugars are the source of glucose for the human body and is the major ingredient in energy drinks. Carbohydrates is an essential requirement of the human body which helps maintain the body functions. Glucose is used up by the body to perform digestion, breathing, and in exercises, like, cycling, walking, and swimming. It is harmful for people suffering from diabetes.

8. Acai Berry
Acai berry is another ingredient added to energy drinks, and is a rich source of antioxidants. The Acai Berry palm trees are usually seen in South America.

9. Creatine
This is an ingredient in many energy drinks and in products which are specially made for body building.

The so-called 'energy' that these drinks provide can be attributed to the ingredients they contain. The stimulating effects of caffeine, which is also found in coffee and tea, needs no introduction. In the same way, taurine is known to assist in heart rate regulation and muscle contraction. Herbal supplements, like ginseng and Ginkgo biloba, are known for their medicinal value. Other than all these ingredients, these beverages also contain sugar and flavoring substances, which are added to make them tasty.

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