The Monster Effect
As a videographer and editor I've spent countless hours editing and perfecting videos well into the wee hours of the morning. After about 12:30, the staring into my monitor starts to get to me, and I start to feel my eyelids getting heavier. So like any other 20 year old, I grab my lo-carb Monster Energy out of the fridge and I keep going. I love not only the flavor, but the eye widening million miles per hour effect it has! But everyone I know it seems like tells me these are eventually going to kill me, so I decided to do a little research and see how bad exactly these drinks are for me.
By just looking at the can it doesn't seem like it is going to make me any less fit. It only contains 20 calories, 6g of carbs, and 6g of sugars. Which to me doesn't seem like a lot, especially considering a mountain dew of the same size has 62g of carbs and 62g of sugars! Yikes! But I keep reading on the "Supplement Facts" and it lists off things like Panax Ginseng, Taurine, and L-Carnitine. This is where I had to do some further research.
I found a nutritionist's blog answering the question 'what is taurine?' She makes mention of how it is a common ingredient in energy drinks and says "Taurine is an amino acid that supports neurological development and helps regulate the level of water and mineral salts in the blood"and goes on saying it may have "antioxidant properties". That doesn't seem all bad to me! But further research found a dark side. The "supplements" are not the real problem so much as the caffeine. A 16oz bottle of Mountain Dew only has 72mg of caffeine whereas a 16oz can of monster contains 160mg! Basically what all that caffeine is doing is not only causing strange side effects like anxiety and muscle twitching, but making my blood pressure go up. So my heart is working harder for no apparent reason.
So my final verdict? I'm not going to stop drinking energy drinks, but much like everything else moderation is key. If someone were to consume 3 or 4 energy drinks everyday, it is likely they could see effects on their heart in the long term. So not the healthiest habit to form, but it isn't destroying my lungs like smoking would or make my teeth gross like tobacco. Compared to things like that they are harmless in my opinion.
So what do you guys think? Do you think energy drinks serve their purpose as a little "wake up" or are a health hazard?