Energy drinks can have a huge impact on our bodies
WHAT DO ENERGY DRINKS DO TO YOUR BODY?
Red Bull is a popular energy drink. And whether you have it on its own, or mixed with alcohol, it’s not thought to be very good for you.
Yet cans of the sugary liquid are consumed readily by people every day. Most of us need a wake up in the morning, and during the afternoon slump. They can be useful – if you’re on a long drive, for example.
But what actually happens to us when we drink a can of energy drink, whatever the brand?
Energy drinks have a big effect on our bodies (Image: www.personalise.co.uk)
Drinking energy drinks mixed with alcohol are ‘just as bad for you as taking cocaine
Here’s the Personalise step-by-step guide to what energy drinks do, according to research
1. During the first ten minutes of drinking an energy drink, the caffeine starts to be absorbed into your bloodstream, and your body responds by increasing your heart rate and blood pressure.
2. At some point during the first 15-45 minutes, depending how fast you drink it, the levels of caffeine will peak, you’ll feel alert and find your concentration is improved. This is due to caffeine being a stimulant drug. This is when it’s recommended to drink one if you are driving and feel you need to be more alert.
3. 30-50 minutes after you finish your drink and your body has now fully absorbed the caffeine, your liver will often then react by absorbing more sugar. It’s during this time that your body has also absorbed most of the sugar initially in the drink as well.
Red bull is one of the most popular energy drinks on the market (Image: Birmingham Mail)
4. An hour in and you’ll likely be getting the dreaded ‘sugar crash’ – this is often a mix of the sugar levels in your bloodstream dropping as well as the effects of the caffeine dying down.
5. Roughly five to six hours is the half-life of caffeine. This means that it takes this many hours for your body to reduce the caffeine content in your bloodstream by 50 per cent. For women who take an oral contraceptive, this time is doubled.
6. For most people, after 12 hours of finishing the energy drink, all the caffeine will have been removed from your bloodstream, but the exact speed or time will vary from person-to-person.
7. For regular drinkers, you’ll find that between 12 and 24 hours is the time for when you’ll start to feel withdrawal symptoms – i.e. the urge for some caffeine. Other effects of this include headaches, irritability and constipation.
8. Studies have shown that up to 12 days is the point in which your body will become tolerant of your daily caffeine dosage. One study found that of those who took a caffeine pill, and others who had a placebo, displayed identical moods, alert levels and energy after 18 days. Simply, people who had the high dosage of caffeine had got used to the caffeine fix.
A lot of us need caffeine to feel as though we’re able to function. Studies have suggested there are both benefits and negative points in consuming the drug.
The recommended dosage of caffeine per day is 400mg, and Red Bull’s 80mg is well within that. But that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily good for us.
Nutritionist Ella Allred told the Daily Star: “Energy drinks are a bad way to get caffeine. Many people drink energy drinks every day to help them survive busy week.
“However, relying on those drinks, push our bodies to the limit. We still need to sleep and eat properly, but if we won’t do it on time and ignore our needs, most likely we will crash later on.”
And Gavin Partington, British Soft Drinks Association Director General, added: “Energy drinks deliver a caffeine or glucose-based energy boost and are enjoyed by millions worldwide.
“In fact, this year the European Food Safety Authority reaffirmed the safety of energy drinks and their ingredients.”
You’re probably best off having a coffee or a brew then.