Energy drinks and caffeine toxicity is a topic of importance to me. In my Seattle hypnosis and Bainbridge hypnosis office and now online, I am seeing far too many kids who are using energy shots to stay awake during the school day and to stay awake at night as they do their homework. The caffeine consumed in these energy shots is routinely 350 mg or more. Far greater than the 200 mg or less per day recommended. If you are using energy drinks you too can learn self hypnosis to end your need for harmful artificial energy. And the bonus is that you will be able to use your hypnosis skills to improve your academic performance and boost your energy in healthy ways.
Energy Drinks and Caffeine Toxicity
(“The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”)
The Bad: Caffeine Toxicity
The amount of caffeine in an energy drink can range from 50 to 505 mg per serving (depending on brand, size, etc). A large number of the students in Maulinaskas et al’s study also tended to drink more than one can at a time, and therefore were more likely to drink more than the recommended 200mg. Drinking high doses of caffeine can lead to caffeine toxicity, which can cause physiological and psychological problems.
One of the studies discussed in O’malley’s article tested the effects of a caffeine dose of 120mg versus 360mg on college students. Those who had consumed 360mg of caffeine from energy drinks had significantly increased blood pressure and heart rates, and all of them also experienced anxiety and insomnia. In Maulinaskas et al’s study, about 22% of students also experienced headaches, and 19% had irregular heart beats.
The Ugly: The “Pharmacological Molotov Cocktail”
19% of students getting irregular heartbeats might not sound so bad. However, these effects are amplified when energy drinks are mixed with other substances, such as alcohol or certain medications (O’Malley refers to this as a “pharmacological Molotov cocktail”).
The mixture of energy drinks with medicines for ADHD and/or antidepressants can cause excessive stress on the kidneys, liver, and brain. A 2007 study referenced in this article even found that teens and young adults with eating disorders, or ADHD are at a higher risk for heart attacks or other heart problems after consuming energy drinks, possibly due to mixing high doses of caffeine with other medications.
We see similarly heightened negative effects when energy drinks are mixed with alcohol. Malinauskas et al’s study found that 73% of students did this so that they could mask the depressant effects of alcohol. In other words, they could drink seemingly without actually “getting drunk.” According to another study , students who mixed alcohol with energy drinks were 6 times more likely to have heart palpitations, and were also more likely to experience insomnia, anxiety, and tremors.
Energy drinks are relatively new, and there’s still a lot of research to be done on them as far as health effects go. If you want to use energy drinks, don’t just blindly drink several at a time. Look closely at the amount of caffeine and try not to exceed 200mg in one day.
If you have any medical conditions discussed above, be aware that your risks are higher. And finally, remember that you increase your risk of heart palpitations, insomnia, anxiety and tremors by mixing an energy drink with alcohol.
According to Brown University, “Individual responses to caffeine vary, and these drinks should be treated carefully because of how powerful they are. Energy drinks’ stimulating properties can boost the heart rate and blood pressure (sometimes to the point of palpitations), dehydrate the body, and, like other stimulants, prevent sleep.
Energy drinks should not be used while exercising as the combination of fluid loss from sweating and the diuretic quality of the caffeine can leave someone severely dehydrated.”(Click here to read more)
If you are using energy drinks, learn self hypnosis so that you can end your need for these dangerous chemicals. And, with hypnosis you can boost your academic performance.
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