Energy Drinks, Health Risk and Death Connection

14 05 2020

Updated: 14 May 2020, by Marc Woodard

So what energy, soda or caffeinated drink and in what volume is considered safe?

The following recommendations for caffeine ingestion vary, but a good average across the board looks to be: adults can consume around 400mg/day of caffeine, pregnant women should stay below 300mg/day. A five-year old child should consume no more than 1 soda/day at 45mg caffeine [at the most]. And if you include a caffeinated soda in a Childs daily diet, this would mean no chocolate, tea, or any other food source with caffeine in it.

“A five-year old child should consume no more than 1 soda/day at 45mg caffeine [at the most]. …” Or one cup of chocolate.

As a point of reference, 1 energy drink does not equate to an 8oz cup of coffee (130mg/cup). One energy drink for example can have the equivalence of several cups of coffee!

Energy drinks flooded the marketplace over a decade ago, with ever increasing popularity within the teenage demographic. Within youth sports for example, energy drinks seem to be the rage and norm… because of the quick boost one receives before exercise activities… and employee’s become dependent on the drinks to accomplish work.

So what’s the bottom line on health risk? Here’s just a few updated citations I found recently on the Internet.

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“Energy drinks ‘can be dangerous because large amounts of caffeine may cause serious heart rhythm, blood flow and blood pressure problems,’ the NIH (National Institution of Health) has warned.”

“Researchers with the American Heart Association have warned that energy drinks can be ‘life-threatening,’ especially for those already with high blood pressure or cardiac issues.”

“The drinks have led to death. E.g., In 2017, a South Carolina teenager died after consuming an excessive amount of caffeine in a short amount of time.”

“Children with still-developing cardiovascular and nervous systems are also at risk as caffeine could harm them. The American Academy of Pediatrics said children should “never” consume energy drinks.”

“‘These energy drinks – one of the biggest problems – is that we haven’t the faintest idea what’s in them,’ Dr. Steven Nissen, M.D. of Cleveland Clinic pointed out.” “The manufacturers of these drinks are not required, by law, to disclose the contents. Those who have performed independent analysis on them have learned, at least a few of the drinks, are just loaded with huge amounts of caffeine.”

We already know exercise increases heart rate and blood pressure. When Energy drinks are introduced into the circulatory system and one participates in sport activity your system becomes super revved. The problem is, if you have an undiagnosed health issue, where an increased surge in circulatory pressure could lead to a stroke or heart attack. This leads one to wonder – is there a connection between high-dose caffeination and teenage deaths on the football field?

In 2012, Swedish authorities warned and believed mixing energy drinks with alcohol and drinking energy drinks after exercise can cause death! There was no hard scientific evidence available then on that health risk connection. “We are going through the Autopsy reports… ” (Anders Glyn, of the Swedish National Food Administration). Dr. Dan Andersson of Stockholm’s South Hospital stated, “If you drink a lot of Red Bull, and you are dehydrated, and/or mix it with alcohol, it can be very dangerous.” There have been recent incidents where energy drinks mixed with alchohol

“Swedish authorities warned and believed mixing energy drinks with alcohol and drinking energy drinks after exercise can cause death!”

Back in 2012, within the United States there was a crack down on manufacturers and retailers who made and sold energy drinks with alcohol in it. The FDA sent warning letters to manufactures… banning specific types of energy and alcoholic drinks in several states because of overdoses.

“Tue 12 Jun 2018 at 1812 AEST | 2012 NZST It has been reported that a teenage girl in Sydney has died after drinking a cocktail of alcohol and energy drinks mixed according to a recipe she found online. It is still too early for doctors to say the exact cause of death, though mixing alcohol and energy drinks has been known to cause health problems and even death in the past. …”

There is “a growing concern over the potential connection of energy drinks, alcohol and teen sport deaths.”

READ OUR FULL ARTICLE WRITTEN ON TOPIC which provides poison control data and a growing concern over the potential connection of energy drinks, alcohol and teen sport deaths. Also, you’ll learn about other ingredients in energy drinks that the FDA does not require to be listed on consumer labels.

It’s what you don’t know about the chemical energy drinks that’s increasing children and adult health risk and cause of other illness and disease and shortened lifespans. And for this reason alone, stick to coffee, tea and decaffeinated drinks [if caffeine intolerant] and morning stretch exercises to wake up and get your day started. And remember… Too much chemical-stimulant-influence on the mind and body, in the long run is not a healthy habit for anyone.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2012-20 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Get Skinny by Activating Addictive Body Chemicals

11 11 2014

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Any aerobic endurance activity will release addictive body chemicals that benefit health and wellbeing

One way to increase the odds of longevity, good health and wellness is through daily physical activities that stimulate the body’s natural release of addictive feel good chemicals.

Of course eating a balanced diet is very important to sustain good health, body weight and wellness.  But through daily exercise activities the metabolisms effect on will power and motivation to continue it increases everyday you stay the fitness course.

What chemicals are stimulated through exercise and how do they help us sustain the daily activity habit?

1) Adrenaline a neurotransmitter and hormone produced by the adrenalin gland just above the kidneys, also known as norepinephrine and epinephrine (provides attention focus in brain).  Together these chemicals activate your fight or flight stimulation designed to get the body out of a stressful situation, or survive an injury scenario.  It acts as a natural pain killer, boosts oxygen and glucose fuel to brain, muscles and suppresses depression.  2)   Dopamine is produced and synthesized in the brain which boosts positive behavior, cognition, motor activity, motivation, sleep, mood, learning and attention.  3)  Serotonin is synthesized within the CNS (Central Nervous System).  This chemical is also found in many mushrooms, plants, fruits and vegetables.  Research shows Serotonin plays an important role in liver regeneration and induces cell division throughout the body (important for repair and healing of the body).  Serotonins role as a neurotransmitter of the brain is to modulate anger, mood, aggression, sleep, sexuality, appetite and metabolism.

How does one initially find the will power and motivation to exercise relative to lifestyle and fitness needs and stick to it?

I do realize exercise activities that work for some may not work for others.  But with a little more insight, maybe a daily workout concept can by applied on self that will resonate with you long-term. If you can commit to a low impact aerobics exercise program daily you will then begin to release the feel good chemicals to make exercise a joy as opposed to a burden and painful experience.

Continuous daily exercise triggers these feel good chemicals and will cause “for most” an addictive exercise habit within 1-2 weeks.  However, everyone differs slightly in metabolism, exercise interest, motivations, intensity and mode of exercise, etc.  For some the body chemicals release an instant craving for daily exercise.  Where for others it may take a little longer once daily exercise begins.  However these addictive cravings for daily exercise may be trumped by bad behavioral habits;  thereby challenging will power and the motivation to exercise daily.  And until these bad habits are changed, modified or stopped, the commitment to daily exercise is threatened.

To maximize the odds of achieving healthy  longevity and wellness 4 behavioral habits must be addressed. 1)  Stop substance abuse.  2)  Eat a balanced and nutritious diet.  3) Become addicted to your body’s natural producing chemicals through exercise.  4)  Remove yourself from unhealthy and stressful environments.

The increased exercise activities experienced by clients did not require a lot of will power, but did require some effort and discipline.  Hence a small amount of will power is required when you begin a daily walking program.

Find a motivator to increase your will power to get you moving.  For example, have a fitness goal in mind: weight loss, body tone, want to feel and look well, etc.  Then start daily exercise slowly by increasing intensity, duration and frequency when your body tells you its okay to do so.  In time your body will release more feel good chemicals, then you’ll become better conditioned as a daily practitioner of aerobic exercise.

The best New Year’s fitness resolution advice I could give you as I’ve done with so many past clients is to start a daily walking habit.  Walking is a low impact fat burning activity.  Many don’t understand the exercise science and benefits of a daily aerobic walking habit.  But I assure you, if you walk for at least 15 minutes a day, you’ll begin to release more of those feel good chemicals.  And in time, your walk pace and distances will increase, so will your muscle tone, metabolism and circulatory function and body fat weight will decrease and you’ll look and feel better.

If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, walking at first may seem uncomfortable and maybe feel unnatural.  But keep this in mind.  As hunters and gatherers are bodies were designed to move by walking.  Walking is a very natural thing for us to do.  And in a short period of time, if you walk daily you will become addicted to it.  From this point forward fitness levels increase and you’ll find yourself challenged and wanting to do other advanced activities you thought were no longer possible.

I’ve had some obese clients walk or ride a stationary bike for a year.  Thereafter participated in a competitive long distance walking, hiking, jogging and biking event, etc.  They never imagined themselves capable of doing anything like it.

Be excited about all the possibilities that lye in front of you and enjoy life to the fullest by maintaining a daily mobility exercise habit!   Now go get addicted to the natural feel good drugs produced by your own body and reap the wellness and health benefits!

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2014 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free monthly eNewsletter.