Are energy drinks bad for you?
Common energy drink options contain a huge amount of synthetic caffeine and in addition to the possible negative effects of caffeine, they have been linked to heart and neurological issues. There were more than 20,000 emergency room visits that involved the consumption of energy drinks from 2007 to 2011. Heavy consumption of energy drinks have been shown to lead to an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, kidney issues, and even reduce blood supply to the brain.
Synthetically produced caffeine from Chinese pharmaceutical plants is the most popular caffeine source in soft drinks and energy drinks. Synthetic caffeine is quickly absorbed into your body, giving you the energy you crave faster than that of a naturally sourced caffeine. However, synthetic caffeine will lead to a much quicker crash. Alternatively, a naturally sourced caffeine will provide longer, more sustained energy without the jitters and crash. For a complete breakdown on the benefits of naturally sourced vs. synthetic caffeine, check out our article: GREEN TEA CAFFEINE VS. SYNTHETIC CAFFEINE
Taurine, an amino acid, is another common ingredient in many popular energy drinks, including Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar. In moderation, taurine can be beneficial as it supports neurological development and regulates water and mineral levels in blood. However, the combination of taurine and the other ingredients in popular energy drinks can become harmful. Excessive levels of taurine can lead to severely low blood pressure and some of the long term effects of taurine have yet to be discovered.
Other common ingredients including Ginseng, Gingko Biloba, and Guarana are safe when consumed individually, but when mixed with common energy drink ingredients such as caffeine and sugar they can become dangerous. Together, they can lead to side effects such as high blood pressure, heart palpitations, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, swelling, dehydration, and kidney failure.
What it boils down to is being aware of what exactly you are consuming. If you consume energy drinks regularly, it would be smart to pick an energy drink that exclusively uses FDA-regulated ingredients. Consuming these drinks in moderation is safe, but over-consumption can lead to some of the issues above.
Is it safe to drink an energy drink everyday? Is it OK to drink 2 energy drinks a day?
Due to caffeine's powerful effect, you need to be aware of how much your body can handle. The FDA recommends only consuming up to 400 mg of caffeine a day (this is the upper limit before the possibilities of negative effects emerge). However, that caffeine sensitivity varies and everyone metabolizes it differently. Your limits can vary vastly from the upper limit of the FDA. The American Heart Association also recommends no more than 36 grams of sugar consumption for men (25 grams for women) per day while a single can of some energy drinks contain 300mg of caffeine and upwards of 50 grams of sugar. So again, it comes down to being aware of the exact ingredients used in the energy drink you decide to grab off of the shelf.
Some energy drink brands include up to 300mg of caffeine in a single 16oz can. With such a high caffeine content, consumers must be careful of including these energy drinks in their diets on a daily basis. Consumers who's diets regularly include a morning coffee or soda throughout the day need to be especially cautious since when combined, these beverages can easily exceed the suggested 400mg maximum of daily caffeine consumption.
On the other hand, energy drinks such as KILL CLIFF Ignite are sold in a much more reasonable 12oz size and contain 150mg of caffeine per can. This lets you grab an Ignite to get going in the morning and still crush one before your afternoon workout, all while staying within the healthy recommended level of daily caffeine.
Are energy drinks worse than soda?
Just for starters, energy drinks contain well over twice (in some cases 3 or 4 times) as much caffeine on average as popular soda options which can cause issues in regards to consuming a safe amount of daily caffeine if you are not careful. Soda also does not typically contain Taurine or Guarana, which are two ingredients commonly found in the most toxic energy drinks.
If you are looking for a soda replacement, check out our article: WHAT IS A GOOD SODA REPLACEMENT? which takes a deep dive into the potential hazards of regularly drinking soda and also suggests a much healthier soda replacement.
So, what are the worst energy drinks?
The most dangerous energy drinks are actually the most common suspects you find in convenience stores across the country, and It's important to note that some of these energy drinks are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means there is no one regulating what ingredients are being put into their drinks. We took a deep dive into the ingredients of Red Bull, Monster, Bang, KILL CLIFF, Rockstar, and Reign in order to compare their ingredients and determine which is the best, and which is truly the worst.
Check out our articles: COMPARING ENERGY DRINKS: WHICH IS THE BEST? WHICH IS THE WORST? to see the complete breakdown looking into caffeine content, sugar, and other beneficial ingredients of each drink.
If you are considering another energy drink option that isn’t included in our comparison, you can also refer to our article: ENERGY DRINK INGREDIENTS TO AVOID AT ALL COSTS to decide if your drink of choice is really as healthy as you think it is.
Are there healthy energy drink options? What is the best energy drink?
Answering the question “what is the healthiest energy drink?” is a no-brainer for us here at KILL CLIFF The Clean Energy Drink Company. KILL CLIFF Ignite, the #1 clean energy drink in America, is sugar-free and naturally sweetened by Erythritol and Stevia. These two natural sugar alternatives are found in fruits and vegetables and provide massive benefits over sugar and other alternatives such as sucralose.
Erythritol is a great sugar for diabetics as it does not spike your blood sugar or insulin, and won't cause tooth decay like sugar and artificial sweeteners will.
Stevia is a no-calorie sweetener that has the potential for treating diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Antioxidant compounds, including kaempferol, can be found in Stevia.
To learn more about sugar-free energy drinks, check out our article: THE GUIDE TO SUGAR-FREE ENERGY DRINKS: IS THERE A NATURALLY SWEETENED ENERGY DRINK?
Ignite uses green tea extract as it's caffeine source. Not only will green tea extract give you an energy boost from the natural caffeine, but it's also a longer-lasting caffeine buzz than synthetic caffeine possesses. Unlike synthetic caffeine, green tea extract won't give you the jitters that are often associated with synthetic caffeine. With 150mg of caffeine, Ignite give you the perfect, longer-lasting energy buzz that will help power you through life.
KILL CLIFF Ignite contains three types of electrolytes, which are incredibly beneficial for hydration. Electrolytes can help maintain the water in your body, maintain pH levels in your body, remove waste from cells, and more.
There are plenty of B VItamins to go around in KILL CLIFF Ignite. B-Vitamins are water-soluble nutrients that are important in your body's maintenance of physiologic and metabolic functions.
Ginseng has been commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries because of its many health benefits, which include anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory properties, improving brain function, improving erectile dysfunction (fellas), immune system strengthening, and more.
Along with being delicious, ginger is an incredibly healthy spice often being used to help digestion, fight nausea, and combat the flu and common cold. Ginger is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Check out our article: THE BENEFITS OF KILL CLIFF IGNITE for a complete breakdown of the ingredients found in Ignite as well as the benefits that such a clean energy drink can provide.
What is a clean energy drink?
KILL CLIFF Ignite is the epitome of a “Clean Energy Drink.” Clean energy drinks take all of the toxic ingredients out of common energy drink options and replaces them with all natural ingredients. For starters, most regularly available energy drinks are loaded with large amounts of synthetic caffeine and sugar, even their sugar-free alternatives use synthetic sweeteners such as Sucralose or Ace-k.
Most mainstream energy drinks also contain large amounts of harmful ingredients such as Taurine as well as dangerous combinations of Ginseng, Ginko Biloba, and Guarana. While this all sounds pretty discouraging for energy drinks in general, there are clean energy drink options available which eliminate all of these toxic ingredients in exchange for natural ingredients that don’t suck. This includes the ingredients and natural sweeteners such as Erythritol and Stevia, B-vitamins, and electrolytes that your body needs.
For a complete descriptions of what it means to be a “clean” energy drink in regards to natural sweeteners and , check out our articles: THE GUIDE TO SUGAR-FREE ENERGY DRINKS: DO ENERGY DRINKS USE ARTIFICAL SWEETNERS? IS THERE A NATURALLY SWEETENED ENERGY DRINK?
We promised that you will never have to settle for a harmful energy drink again, and we meant it! KILL CLIFF only uses ingredients that don’t suck—natural ingredients that support your health and wellness. We live and breathe healthy energy drinks and would never hand you a can of fake crap. So if you are ready to ditch artificial sugars in your energy drinks, you are in the right place!