Energy drinks have become increasingly popular for getting short boosts of energy. However, they can be misused and sometimes even when used as recommended, they cause disagreeable side effects. The effects of energy drinks can be broken into several categories. These are short-term effects, long-term effects and side effects. Those using energy drinks should be aware of their potential benefits and risks.
For the average healthy adult the main effects of energy drinks are to briefly boost energy and alertness. This extra boost may last one or two hours or more depending upon the size of the drink, the amount of stimulants in the drink, and the tolerance of the person drinking it. Some drinks have extremely high caffeine levels or other stimulant amounts that may make people highly energetic or very jittery depending on caffeine tolerance. People may feel “sped up” instead of more alert or awake, and many notice a withdrawal or come down period a few hours after drinking an energy drink.
Certain drinks have such high stimulant amounts that normal effects may include illness. People who drink Spike® Shooters, for instance can report feeling nausea and vomiting, irregular heartbeat, and terrible headache. This may be addressed by not drinking these drinks on an empty stomach. Yet those who are really sensitive to stimulant levels may endure several hours of illness after consuming one of these drinks.
The side effects that regularly occur with Spike® Shooters may affect those drinking other energy drinks if they drink them to excess, and a few people who are very sensitive could have side effects when they have any type of energy drink. In addition to rapid heart rate, nausea or vomiting, and headache, some people may also experience an increase in blood pressure, a swift decline in mood as the drink wears off, and persistent jitters or shakiness. Other short-term side effects of energy drinks include insomnia, headache the day after consumption, and irritability.
Very serious short-term side effects of energy drinks can include caffeine intoxication, especially when people consume more drinks than recommended. In severe cases, intoxication of this kind can lead to unstable or irregular heartbeat, muscle twitching, flushing, psychosis, disorientation, and delusions. Use of energy drinks among those who are unused to drinking caffeine may result in caffeine intoxication symptoms sooner.
The normal healthy adult probably will suffer few side effects of energy drinks, but there are certain groups that should not use these drinks. Pregnant and nursing women shouldn’t consume energy drinks. High caffeine doses can affect brain development of fetuses and nursing babies. Children should also not consume these drinks. People with caffeine sensitivity, with mental health conditions and those with any types of heart defects or disease should avoid energy drinks too.