The thing about energy drinks... they have a bad rap.
I often bring one to work and then my coworkers will begin to tell me how bad they are for my health. And then I usually reply with how delicious they are or something. Because quite frankly, I absolutely love energy drinks.
I never have more than one on the same day, and I don't drink 5-Hour Energy or any of those energy shots. THOSE can't be safe. I also don't drink Redbull for some reason. I have always thought that they weren't good for you and so I guess I just stand by that. But I drink every flavor of Monster and Rockstar and have now expanded my horizons to Nos, Bang, etc. I sip them like a drink, I don't chug them or start my day with them. Usually. And I like to get the sugar-free or low-calorie ones, although that's a whole other debate on whether or not it's healthier to digest real sugar or fake sweetener.
But my habits are not the focus of this article. Instead, I want to summarize some of the factual information about energy drinks and why you shouldn't assume I'm going to have a heart attack after I finish my delicious beverage. Now, I admit right off the bat that I didn't do any extensive research about this, I didn't look into cases of specific people's injuries or experiences, I just want to state a few facts to put this entire debate into perspective:
The average Monster has anywhere from 140-160 mg of caffeine in a 16oz can. This is the equivalent of a tall Starbucks cafe Americano. And ordering an Americano every morning is perfectly fine to most people.
My absolute favorite flavor of Monster is the Pipeline Punch from the Monster Juice series. This one is not low-calorie or low-sugar, it's just a normal Monster drink. It has 23g of sugar in it. Arguably one of the most popular sugary Starbucks drinks is the caramel macchiato. The grande size has 33g of sugar in it. Not to mention, it's also the exact same caffeine count as an energy drink.
Anytime you order your Starbucks drink with an extra shot, that's an added 75mg of caffeine. So with every double shot or even triple shot, if you dare, you are well over the caffeine amount of 99% of energy drinks.
In light of these facts, it's still fair to criticize energy drinks because of their artificial, sugary nature. Sure, carbonated sugary drinks lead to teeth erosion and dental issues. But then how come people don't freak out every time the waiter asks if you would like a Coke with that?
The Bang drinks actually require you be over eighteen to purchase them. Grocery stores treat it like alcohol and ask for your ID before buying. And maybe this is how it should be for every energy drink brand. It would surely help prevent young children and teens from over-consuming something that they probably don't need in their systems at a young age.
As for bodily defects as a result of drinking energy drinks—do everything in moderation! Stories are released of people drinking energy drinks and then dying from heart attacks or what have you. But 99% of the time it's because they drank three in a row or mixed them with substances you shouldn't be mixing them with. These aren't just drinks. People should be taking them seriously. You wouldn't throw back five shots of tequila and then not expect to suffer the consequences or order three triple shot lattes and not expect to feel a little heartburn afterward.
So, I urge you to take this with a grain of salt. 99% of the time I drink an energy drink, it just keeps me from falling asleep. It doesn't really give me energy or make me stay awake. So maybe I have an extremely high tolerance to caffeine, but I see it as evidence that energy drinks can't be that bad for you or else the supposed "high" levels of chemicals and caffeine would have you bouncing off the walls every single time.