Please take the time to read the following article about the dangers of consuming energy drinks. The following studies are real, and should not be taken lightly. Energy drinks are bad for your heart. There’s no way around that. The more you drink, the more you are putting your health in jeopardy. Try to cut back as much as possible, for starters, and then try to use alternative healthier drinks for energy. As always, be smart and stay safe out there. We care about your health and safety.
Chief C. Escandon
Health & Safety
The drinks available are; Rock Star, Red Bull, 5hr Energy Drink, Monster, AMP, Cold Brew, NOS Energy, Cellucor, Celsius, ANSI Extreme, Spark and many more.
Ingredients vary from one drink to the next.
- Taurine – an amino acid that is also found in some foods. Long term use can cause decrease of energy, anxiety, and you will build a dependence to it according to the CDC.
- Guarana – a Brazilian seed that is an effective stimulant. It contains twice the concentration of caffeine found in coffee seeds.
- Ginseng – a root used for energy in the eastern cultures. The possible side effects may include: menstrual irregularities, painful breasts, itchy skin, rashes, poor appetite, diarrhea, headaches, jitteriness, insomnia, hypoglycemia, moodiness and/or blood pressure changes. Of those listed above, the most common side effect is insomnia.
- Synthetic Caffeine – made in a laboratory. Synthetic caffeine is known to be absorb faster which gives a more sudden crash after its intake. Since it is a synthetic and not natural ingredient, it is not regulated by CDC or FDA. Therefore, the amounts of caffeine content are not seen with the ingredients on energy drinks.
What Energy Drinks do to the Body
Brain – Energy drinks work quickly to block adenosine which is a chemical your brain produces to help you sleep. The caffeine will immediately cause your brain to fire neurons to stimulate an instant energy boost, the same energy boosts you get when your body senses a physical threat.
Blood – With your body in alert mode, the pituitary bland causes adrenaline levels to rise, again providing more energy in the form of glucose to be released into the blood stream.
Heart – The adrenaline released now has an effect on the heart causing it to beat faster to drive more blood and consequently oxygen around the body to your muscles.
Back to your Brain – With the glucose injection into your bloodstream, your body is now full of energy and ready to react to any threats. Dopamine levels increase which gives your brain the sensation of being incredibly energetic.
Skin – Conversely because of the increased heart rate and chemical reactions going on in your body, you will start to sweat more profusely which is dangerous as you risk losing bodily fluids and electrolytes.
Body – After effects or overconsumption of caffeine can start to turn that positive energy boost into anxiety and the “Jitters”. This is caused by dehydration’s effect on your body which ultimately is the biggest thing any athlete tries to avoid.
Finally, Back to the Heart. – At this point the EKG strips as seen below are reflective of energy drinks on board. The rhythms are severely abnormal. The T waves are inverted. The refractory phase is nonexistent between the complexes. This scenario causes the atrium to fail in its response to a contraction causing the ventricles to contract stronger in order to push blood to the vital organs which then reflects in an elevated diastolic blood pressure. When we add the situation of a front-line firefighter in an active fire scene with a heart condition, these men and women put their lives as well as their entire crew and the public in danger. We are seeing Atrial Fib, Atrial Flutter, Flat line in lead II, and PAC’s as illustrated in the recent EKG’s performed.