Arguing Cause Rachel Modrow

I found this part of my paper to be particularly interesting: all the facts about energy drinks and what goes into them and all the multiple side effects that can be bad for you.
This part was surprisingly difficult: trying to find a counterargument and add it into the paper was difficult.
Next time I would do this differently: nothing really, I had a lot of time to write and I feel good about this paper.

Energy Drinks May Give Energy but They Are Not Good to Consume

When wanting to get that last bit of energy to finish a paper before the deadline or getting up early needing energy many people turn to energy drinks to get them through the day. Drinks such as red bull and monster are what people turn to, but what’s really in those drinks is what consumers should be concerned about. What’s going into our bodies to give us energy is something to know. The things put into these drinks to give us energy can be dangerous for the body. When drinking energy drinks on a regular basis they can wear out the body along with having bad side effects.

The term “energy drink” can have multiple meanings, as stated by the CaffeineInformers article, Energy Drinks Defined, Energy drinks are any beverage that contains multiple ingredients which service one or more facets of preserved neurological and/or psychophysiological efficiency (is this a direct quote? put in quotation marks any direct quote and article titles) . This could be in a form of an aluminum can, bottle or shot. A better understanding of what an energy drink is, it’s a beverage that has more than one ingredient known to increase energy. Energy can then be defined as a boost in your mental stamina, mental efficiency, alertness or anything that will give a brain boost. Energy drinks have to have two ingredients that go together, such as, caffeine and taurine, caffeine and ginseng and caffeine and b-vitamins. If there is just caffeine, just b-vitamins or anything that is one ingredient it is not considered an energy drink (Energy Drinks Defined). Looking around grocery stores there are many different kinds of energy drinks displayed. “The most common energy drinks that are seen in stores are red bull, monster, rockstar, amp, nos and full throttle” (The Top 15 Energy Drink Brands).

Waking up every morning and having an energy drink may seem like a good idea, but when reading the label there are many shocking things. I recently went to the store to pick up a can of red bull. When reading the ingredient list I noticed that I didn’t know what half the things were or even how to pronounce them. Ingredients such as sucrose glucose, sodium citrate taurine, glucuronolactone and many more after that are all on the label. The front of the can stated the words, “With taurine. Vitalizes body and mind.” What is taurine? Does the average person even know what that means? After looking it up I found out that taurine is, “an amino acid that supports neurological development and helps regulate the level of water and mineral salts in the blood” (Zeratsky). It’s a good thing that energy drinks are helping regulate these levels for the consumers but there are all different health risks involved in drinking these energy drinks.

The amount of caffeine present in these drinks is not healthy for the average person. When looking at the labels of energy drinks it does not list the amount of caffeine that is in the drink. A consumer group tested twenty seven popular energy drinks and the results they find were surprising. An average person should not consume more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day (DeNoon). After having around 200-300 milligrams of caffeine the body may start having some side effects (Energy Drink Side Effects). The most (common?) amount of caffeine found in an energy drink was 242 milligrams and that was found in 5-hour energy extra strength. If someone consumed two of these drinks they would have enough caffeine if not more than they we’re supposed to have. Having too much caffeine in a person’s body can cause different effects. Some of these are restlessness, nervousness, insomnia and tremors. Having excessive amounts of caffeine can cause seizures and abnormal heart beats (DeNoon). Caffeine is the main reason why people feel like they have more energy.

Having caffeine in the body can have some good effects. When playing sports some coaches encourage their players to drink caffeine to give them more energy. When participating in physical activity it can benefit the body. “Recent studies have shown that consuming three to six milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of bodyweight can be good for athletes, if consumed an hour before the workout” (Rahmat). This can help improve performance in resistance exercises and weight training. A study conducted in Spain helped show this, “if a person consumed a small amount of caffeine they improved alertness and reaction time. If they increased the dosage and took more caffeine their bodyweight, jump height, spring velocity and running distance all increased” (Wortman). Energy drinks do help athletes but they also come with side effects such as, increased heart rate, insomnia and muscle soreness.

Other ingredients that are found in some energy drinks are sodium benzoate, phenylalanine, guarana and ephedra. These all cause health problems that many people don’t think about. “Sodium benzoate can cause cell damage and increase the production of free radicals. Phenylalanine can excite too many neurons in the brain and can cause cellular death. When guarana is added to drinks it adds three to four times the caffeine. Ephedra increases heart rate and blood pressure and can cause strokes, seizures and even death in some cases” (Isaacs). All of these ingredients and many more are bad for health and can be very harmful to the people consuming the drinks. Most of these ingredients and more that are not mentioned are found in different types of energy drinks. All the ingredients added to energy drinks are bad for you and are put there to try to increases heart rate so the consumer feels an energy boost.

When consuming energy drinks they does many different things to the body. According to Koelliker, some of the things that they cause are sleep disturbances, anxiety, restlessness, elevation in blood pressure and heart rate, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures and even death. They are made to keep people alert and awake but they can do even more than most people realize. In Koelliker’s article she discusses hospital visits. In 2005 there were around 1,100 ER visits in the US because of energy drinks and that number rose substantially in 2008 with more than 16,000 visits and it continues to rise. Having too much caffeine which comes from these energy drinks can really wear out the body and cause bad effects. Most of the people that are consuming these drinks are not thinking about the different effects it can have on their body, they are consuming them to be able to stay awake for a little longer or to be able to finish their day.

By drinking energy drinks they help people become more alert and stay awake. When consuming the caffeine and taurine in these drinks it helps increase heart rate, which makes people more alert. Many college students drink energy drinks because it helps them through the days and to stay awake late to finish projects. The drinks are also made with extra sugar to help get the body feel a “buzz” after drinking them. “As your body gradually develops a tolerance to the caffeine’s effect you become desensitized to its buzz” (The New Power Brew: Do Energy Drinks Really Work?). Drinking these drinks everyday can be bad for the body but every once and a while they are okay. The drinks help hydrate the body along with give it energy to continue with the day. Instead of only giving it little energy your body can get energy for the whole day depending on how much is consumed.

Along with energy drinks being bad for health they are also expensive. The average drink costs around a dollar to three dollars to purchase (DeNoon). When buying these drinks on a regular basis it adds up to a lot of money. Buying two every day for one dollar totals about $720 a year, that’s a lot of money that could be spent on other things. Once a person starts drinking energy drinks they will end up getting hooked and feel like they need them. The caffeine becomes an addiction and after a while trying to afford them all the time becomes harder. After drinking caffeine on a daily basis for weeks, even months people are likely to become addicted to it. Once becoming addicted when trying to limit caffeine or stop drinking caffeine there are side effects such as, headaches, fatigue, anxiety and depressed mood (Caffeine Myths and Facts).

In conclusion, energy drinks, no matter what form they come in they are bad for the body. These different types of drinks all do the same thing. They give the body energy for a little bit of time and then it wears off and can have different side effects. Having a higher heart rate, restlessness and many other things can be effects of having too many energy drinks. There are many other alternates that can be taken to get energy. When thinking about buying an energy drink next time also think about all the effects it has and check the ingredients.

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"The Top 15 Energy Drink Brands." The Top 15 Energy Drink Brands. CaffeineInformer, 23 Aug. 2013. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

Zeratsky, Katherine. "Nutrition and Healthy Eating." Taurine in Energy Drinks: What Is It? Mayo Clinic, 27 Mar. 2012. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.

DeNoon, Daniel J. "How Much Caffeine Is in Your Energy Drink?" WebMD. WebMD, 25 Oct. 2012. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.

Wortman, Joshua. "29 Studies Confirm Caffeine Increases Athletic Performance." Breaking Muscle. Health and Fitness News, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.

Rahmat, Mindith. "29 Studies Confirm Caffeine Increases Athletic Performance." Breaking Muscle. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.

Isaacs, Tony. "The Dark Side of Energy Drinks - Risking Your Health for Temporary Stimulation." NaturalNews. N.p., 6 Oct. 2011. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.

Koelliker, Diana. "Just How Bad Are Energy Drinks?" Telluride Medial Clinic. Telluride Medical Center, n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

[ "The New Power Brew: Do Energy Drinks Really Work?" Fitness Magazine. Fitness Magazine, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.

"Caffeine Facts: Addiction, Insomnia, Pregnancy Effects, and More." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

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