Energy Drinks Cause Insomnia, Nervousness Among Athletes
Energy drinks are popular among some athletes but two new studies may lead many to rethink how they fuel their bodies for competitions, games and workouts.
Energy drinks are non-alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine, vitamins, and other ingredients for example, taurine, ginseng, and guarana. They are typically marketed as boosting energy and increasing physical and mental performance.
In one study from Spain, researchers found that energy drinks cause insomnia and nervousness in athletes in the hours following competition. Contrary to their name, “energy drinks” do not provide more energy than other soft drinks but they do produce an energizing feeling related to the stimulation provided by caffeine.
“Athletes felt they had more strength, power and resistance with the energy drink than with the placebo drink,” according to a news release from the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. “However, the energy drinks increased the frequency of insomnia, nervousness and the level of stimulation in the hours following the competition.”
Another study prompted a team of researchers from the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe in the open-access journalFrontiers in Public Health to warn that increased consumption of energy drinks may pose danger to public health.
Part of the risks of energy drinks are due to their high levels of caffeine. Energy drinks can be drunk quickly, unlike hot coffee, and as a result they are more likely to cause caffeine intoxication. Energy drinks can cause caffeine intoxication, which can lead to heart palpitations, hypertension, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, psychosis and in rare cases, death, a news release from Frontiers states.
Additionally, many young people mix energy drinks with alcohol. According to the National Poison Data System in the United States, between 2010 and 2011, more than 4,850 calls were made to poison information centers about energy drinks. Almost 40 percent involved alcohol mixed with energy drinks, the release states.
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