Lately the media has been reporting that "energy" drinks such as 5-Hour Energy shots and Monster Energy may be attributed to several deaths. In all likelihood the deaths were probably due to massive intakes of these stimulant drinks. The primary ingredient responsible for the stimulant effect is of course caffeine. A bottle of 5-Hour Energy may contain more than twice the amount of caffeine found within a cup of coffee. Consumer Reports has stated that up to 400mg of caffeine daily is safe for healthy adults. High doses of caffeine can cause symptoms such as restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, and tremors. Excessively high doses can trigger seizures and an unstable heart rhythm.
With so many people drinking these beverages, you'd think a lot more people would be dying. Certainly, many have reported feeling ill after drinking these products. Any product consumed in inordinate amounts can adversely affect your health. Common sense is needed. The products in question here will not likely be taken off the market because injuries are not likely to occur when the product is consumed per the label recommendation. The manufacturer of 5-Hour Energy recommends not to drink more than two bottles per day spaced several hours apart. Those who've never tried this product should drink only half a bottle and wait 10 minutes before drinking the rest. Those sensitive to the effects of caffeine should consult their doctor before drinking "energy" drinks.
"Energy" drinks are not going away anytime soon since the demand is large for these products. Unfortunately the people who usually drink "energy" beverages are the ones who tend to be sedentary and feel they need a boost of energy. The boost of energy from imbibing these drinks is short-lasting whereas the energy resulting from exercise lasts much longer and is the better alternative. Best of all: exercise costs nothing! Keep in mind that these drinks are not an alternative to rest or sleep. Forcing your body to stay alert when it requires sleep is certainly not healthy.
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
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I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.