Pepper-upper: Is defined as something as a food, beverage or pill that provides quick but temporary period of energy and alertness. What it is? What it contains and what are the affects? They contain Caffeine, Taurine, sometimes Ginseng and B Vitamins but also L-Carnitine, Glucuronolactone,
Picking it up from the Caffeine informer I feel the complete list goes as under:
Caffeine is the most widely used drug on the planet and has been used for centuries for its stimulating effects. This common stimulant is found naturally in coffee and tea, but is also placed in energy drinks and soft drinks by manufacturers. A combination with Paracetamol for headaches is a pill or candy of choice these days. Watch what you pop.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system giving the body a sense of alertness as well as dilates blood vessels. It raises heart rate and blood pressure and dehydrates the body.
From this list of some side affects caffeine has:
- Palpitations / tachycardia
- Tremor / shaking
- Agitation / restlessness
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Chest pain / ischaemia
- Dizziness / syncope
- Paraesthesia (tingling or numbing of the skin)
- Respiratory distress
Taurine is the second on the list of maladies.
Taurine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the human body. It helps regulate heartbeat, muscle contractions, and energy levels.
Taurine might be a mild inhibitory neurotransmitter. Some studies show it helps during excitable brain states, which could allow people to function better with elevated levels of other stimulants.
The amount placed in energy drinks is well below what would be needed for therapeutic benefit or for any potential side-effects.
- More than 35mg of Niacin (B3) can cause flushing of the skin. Intake of 3000mg or more can result in liver toxicity.
More than 100mg of B6 can cause sensory nerve problems (burning sensation) or skin lesions.
Ginseng has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb and is believed to increase energy, have some anti-fatigue properties, relieve stress, and promote memory.
Rare side effects such as diarrhea and headache have been reported.
Most energy drinks that contain Ginseng have such small amounts of this herb most will experience little if any benefit.
Glucose is the body’s preferred fuel. Standard energy drinks contain a lot of sugar. Therefore, energy.
It’s a carbohydrate and a lot of exercise regimen suggest a good dose of carbs for workouts lasting more than an hour. I think we all know harmful affects of sugar. Hence we go on.
Energy Drink Preservatives and Artificial Colors as states Dr. kavita.
Besides the active ingredients in energy drinks, there are other chemicals placed in energy drinks to give them a longer shelf-life and a more vibrant color.
- Citric acid – preservative and adds sour taste
- Sodium citrate – acidity regulator
- Sodium benzoate – preservative
- Potassium sorbate – preservative
- Caramel color – food coloring
- Benzoic acid – preservative, prevents mold
- Sorbic acid – preservative
- Sodium hexametaphosphate – emulsifier
- Gum arabic – stabilizer
- Calcium disodium EDTA – a preservative and sequestrant
- Potassium benzoate – preservative
- Brominated vegetable oil – emulsifier
- Monopotassium phosphate – buffering and neutralizing agent
- Ester Gum – emulsifier
- Yellow 5 – artificial coloring
- Yellow 6 – artificial coloring
- Red 40 – artificial coloring
- Blue 1 – artificial coloring
In some cases when people have adverse reactions to energy drinks they could be allergic or sensitive to one of the above additives. The artificial colorings are particularly troublesome for some as well as the brominated vegetable oil.
The Final Word
While energy drink ingredients such as caffeine have been widely studied, others haven’t and manufacturers are using mainly anecdotal evidence as justification of their use in their beverages or other products.
Consumers should be aware of the ingredients contained in energy drinks and make educated decisions whether or not these beverages are the best choice for their bodies.
By Caffeine Informer Staff