An our country, Myanmar. The chemical components of

An energy drink is a beverage that claims to increase the drinker’s energy. Some of them may be carbonated while the others are not. Red bull and shark are the most popular drinks in our country, Myanmar. The chemical components of energy drinks are caffeine, B vitamins, various forms of sugar, and small amounts of guarana, ginseng, ginkgo biloba extract, taurine, glucuronolactone and L-carnitine.

The major component, caffeine stimulates the brain to keep us alert, releasing adrenaline, which then signals the liver to release stored glucose into the vessels, thus, tricking our brain to believe that we have more energy than we really do. Adrenaline raises our heartbeats and dilates the eyes. Energy drinks can cause insomnia interfering with the ability to perform tasks that need heavy concentration. Diuretic effect will be triggered also causing dehydration, anxiety and irritability. Panic attacks and migraine headaches can also occur from the caffeine withdrawal. Normal people who drink many energy drinks will have increased heart rates up to an hour later.

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People with certain heart problems can undergo cardiac arrest after having too many energy drinks. There is a study which shows the connection between energy drinks and cardiac problems. An amino acid, taurine regulates skeletal muscle contraction and may reduce the damage caused by the exercise.  Another component, glucuronolactone claims to favor natural defense mechanism of the body but there is no sufficient research to prove whether this compound is effective in increasing energy. B vitamins are used as coenzymes for vital cell functions. They are needed to transform large amounts of sugar from energy drinks into energy.

Guarana is a tropical fruit rich in caffeine and it is used to increase energy. However, since guarana contains caffeine adding it will increase the overall amount of caffeine in the energy drinks. Ginseng is also added in some energy drinks due to the growing popularity of its effects in certain health tonics but the amount of ginseng in the energy drinks is barely noticeable. Ginkgo biloba extract has been said to possess antioxidant properties. However, no detailed research has shown that it has an important effect of increasing energy.

L-Carnitine, a compound made in the liver and kidneys, increases fat metabolism, oxygen consumption and also affects recovery from exercise injury. Sugars are the basic source of energy in the body, with glucose being the main carbohydrate that can easily be oxidized for energy synthesis. However, exposing too much excess sugar to the body can lead to insulin insufficiency and obesity. If this continues, the cells will become unable to secrete sufficient amount of insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels.

Eventually, pancreatic cells producing insulin will deteriorate leading to type two diabetes. Drinking too much energy drinks can result in liver or nerve injury, various cardiovascular problems, seizures and ultimately death. If a pregnant woman excessively consumes these drinks, it can lead to many defects in unborn child and even results in stillborn. While energy drinks may provide short and rapid effects, they are not actually good for our body in the long run.


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