Home  Article Directory  Healthy Recipes  Natural Remedies  Beating/Avoiding Cancer  Natural Living  Anti-Aging/Longevity  Pets/Animals   Diets/Weight Loss   Humor  Inspiration  The TBYIL Supplement & Health Catalog  Contact Us


The Dark Side of Energy Drinks - Trading Tomorrow's Health for Today's Temporary Stimulation

by Tony Isaacs

(The Best Years in Life) Energy drinks were first introduced over 20 years ago. Though their use grew slowly for the first several years, today they have become a modern day phenomenon with tens of millions now being consumed daily. Energy drinks are the number one growth market for beverages and annual sales are forecast to top $9 billion for 2011. Around one-third of teenagers and young adults report drinking one or more energy drink daily, and in many instances consumers drink several energy drinks each day.

What’s not to like about having more energy and alertness - particularly if it comes from beverages which often tout herbal and other “natural” ingredients as the secret to their success? As it turns out, there is a very great deal not to like – and many of the millions of energy drink consumers may one day find that the temporary boost they are getting today comes at the expense of health problems tomorrow.

Some of the more common unwelcome side effects reported for energy drinks include elevated heart rates, hypertension, anxiety, headaches and interrupted sleep patterns. Due to a combination of ingredients commonly found in energy drinks which cause elevated heart rate and blood pressure, energy drinks may end up putting added stress on the heart. Such stress may lead to hypertension and ultimately heart and other cardiovascular problems.

It is also believed that the combination of ingredients in energy drinks, including sodium benzoate, may lead to extra risk of various forms of cancer. Some energy drinks may also contain ingredients which stress the pancreas and could lead to diabetes. The effects and side effects of energy drinks are elevated when combined with coffee and other caffeinated drinks and the combination of alcohol and energy drinks, a growing practice among younger drinkers, may be particularly dangerous.

Until recently, energy drinks and their side effects have been lightly studied, as a report earlier this year in the medical journal Pediatrics noted when it described energy drinks as overused and understudied. After examining data from the government and interest groups, scientific literature, case reports and articles in popular and trade media, the reports authors warned against energy drinks and cited potential harms which included heart palpitations, seizures, strokes and even sudden death.

Dr. Marcie Schneider, an adolescent medicine specialist in Greenwich, Connecticut, and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics nutrition committee, praised the recent report and stated that "These drinks have no benefit, no place in the diet of kids."

Late last year, poison control centers started tracking energy drink overdoses and side effects nationwide. 677 cases occurred from October through December. The chart's list of reported energy drink-related symptoms included seizures, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, chest pain, high blood pressure and irritability.

Two of the most common ingredients found in energy drinks are sugar and caffeine, both of which provide temporary stimulation (as opposed to actual energy) and both of which may have serious side effects when regularly consumed in large amounts.  Notably, both sugar and caffeine, as well as other ingredients in energy drinks, stress the adrenal glands.  Adrenal fatigue is considered to be the number one cause of lack of energy.  Thus energy drinks create their own catch-22 for many consumers by causing long term tiredness and lack of energy at the same time they give their temporary boosts.

Just one of a huge number of health risks caused by processed sugar is the risk of diabetes – which has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. Very large amounts of sugar can ultimately overwhelm the pancreas, the organ which generates insulin to offset sugar intake. If your pancreas is "worn out" by being overworked from too much sugar, diabetes can begin.

Some energy drinks contain up to 7 times the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. While small amounts of caffeine are not generally considered dangerous, too much caffeine can over stimulate the central nervous system and can dangerously elevate blood pressure and heart rate. Caffeine is also addictive and withdrawal symptoms include headaches and irritability. Caffeine also causes a loss in valuable B vitamins which are needed for "normal" energy creation.

When sugar is not used, dangerous artificial sweeteners are employed. Perhaps the most dangerous is aspartame, though increasingly, the sugar substitute of choice has become sucralose. Sucralose is a chlorinated organic compound, a chemical group which includes several compounds known to be harmful to animals and plants and which has been linked to birth defects and other prenatal conditions. The body does not recognize artificial sweeteners like sucralose as food, but instead essentially processes them as toxins.


Other potentially dangerous ingredients commonly found in energy drinks include:

*Sodium benzoate. Sodium benzoate is widely used as a preservative in energy drinks as well as other beverages and foods. Last year a study conducted by an expert in molecular biology and biotechnology linked sodium benzoate to cell damage and an increase in the production of free radicals.

Even more concerning is the fact that sodium benzoate in combination with vitamin C can result in the formation of the potent carcinogen benzene. Many energy drinks contain vitamin C, especially the fruity energy drinks.

As noted health authority Chris Gupta reports, “This is not a small thing, although the so-called experts will try to tell you that there's no harm at these benzene levels. But there is no safe level of benzene. And no one is talking about how it reacts with other carcinogens in your body, which could be a serious problem. We already know it reacts with healthy substances like vitamin C.”

“There is a solution”, Gupta added. “Eliminate all processed foods and unnatural drinks. All processed foods have chemicals in them for preservation. And many of these preservatives can damage your health."

*Phenylalanine. Though an essential amino acid, phenylalanine is also a neurotoxin and is one of the three main ingredients which make up aspartame. Too much can excite the neurons in the brain to the point of cellular death.

*Guarana. Guarana (or guaranine) comes from the seeds of the guarana plant, which contain up to 3 to 4 times the caffeine as coffee beans. Thus the amount of actual caffeine for many energy drinks which also contain guarana may be even more than is reported.

*Ephedra. Ephedra has been described as a drug that increases heart rate and blood pressure at low doses and strokes, seizures, and possibly even death at high doses.

Despite their potential dangers, energy drinks have become a very large part of today’s beverage industry. As we have seen time and again, once any product or group of products and the ingredients they contain become hugely profitable and popular, it may take many years – if ever – before they are curtailed despite evidence of danger. Aspartame is a prime example and such may well end up being the case with the multi-billion dollar energy drink market.

However, the good news is that there are far safer natural options for achieving greater energy than energy drinks - such as super foods powders, juiced vegetables and whole-foods derived multi-vitamin products for example. The very best long term option for achieving greater energy is an active lifestyle combined with adequate sleep, avoidance of energy robbing toxins and stress and a healthy nutrient-dense diet.

See also:

Boost Your Body and Mind with Magnesium

The Reason You are Sick and Tired May be Fatigued Adrenals

Building a Foundation for Better Health and Longevity

Try this healthy homemade sports drink to avoid summer dehydration

Sources included:



About the author

Tony Isaacs is a member of the National Health Federation and the American Botanical Council. He is a natural health advocate and researcher and the author of books and articles about natural health including "Cancer's Natural Enemy." Mr. Isaacs articles are featured at The Truth About Cancer, the Health Science Institute's Healthiertalk website, CureZone, the Crusador, Health Secrets, the Cancer Tutor, the Silver Bulletin, the New Zealand Journal of Natural Health, and several other venues. In addition, he hosts the Yahoo Oleandersoup Health group of over 3500 members and the CureZone Ask Tony Isaacs - Featuring Luella May forum. He is also the local moderator of the CureZone Cancer Alternatives forum. Tony and his partner Luella May host The Best Years in Life natural health website where their motto is "It's never too late or too early to begin living longer, healthier and happier lives."

See more natural health articles Here.

To see the latest items on sale at Utopia Silver. click on the above link, or click HERE

Be Sure to Visit our Sponsors and Friends:



Berkey Water

The Best Years in Life uses and highly recommends Malwarebytes

Join Us and Get Your Favorite Organic Foods & Non-GMO Brands Delivered to Your Door!

For the best in health information, subscribe to The Best Years in Life Newsletter featuring articles by Tony M. Isaacs

Sign Up Now

Click on the Yahoo Groups Image to Join The Oleandersoup Forum - Beating and Avoiding Cancer + Natural Health

Powered by health.groups.yahoo.com

If you would like to donate to help us keep this web site active and growing, click on the button above.   Much thanks! - Tony & Luella


Click here to visit our CureZone Health Forum: Ask Tony Isaacs: Featuring Luella May– Natural Health, Cancer, Longevity and Home & Herbal Remedies.


Misty*, My Buddy, Little Rascal & Lady the "found dogs" - Official Mascots of The Best Years in Life

*Rest in peace sweet girl - almost 17 years of wonderful memories.

The Best Years in Life Free Newsletter is Here!

It's free and all subscribers will receive a free copy of the in-depth eReport "How to Make Sure You Never Get Cancer".

Check out our newly updated and growing catalog!

The TBYIL Supplement & Health Catalog

The very best hand-picked natural supplements, health products and companies.


Instead of reaching for an unhealthy energy drink, give yourself a noticeable boost in energy and health with OxyActin! Contains a combination of Anaerocidal Oxygen and CoEnzyme Q10 to support heart health and immune system function. Supports cellular energy, defends against free-radicals and is a great antioxidant that provides more oxygen to your blood and cardiovascular system.

Bluebonnet Chewable Vitamin B-12 & Folic Acid 180 Chewable Tablets

Pure crystalline vitamin B12 and folic acid in a natural raspberry flavor. Sweetened with EarthSweet, an all-natural sweetening mix of juice concentrates (wild blueberry, cranberry, prune, cherry, strawberry, grape, raspberry and bilberry fruits, grape seed and raspberry seed extracts) and cane crystals. Chewable tablets for maximum absorption.

Available Now!
Click on the image for more information



100% Organic MicroComplexed™ IntraCELL™ Level IV Technology ~ 415 Nutrients All-In-One, Perfect Whole Foods & Phyto Nutrition ~ Super Energizing ~ All Natural Defense The Most Scientifically Advanced, Clinically Proven, Health Promoting Organic Nutritional Supplement Available Today.

Sutherlandia OPC

The ultimate immune booster and modulator from South Africa. Contains pure Nerium oleander plus Sutherlandia frutescens (the "South Africa Cancer Bush"). As featured in the book "Cancer's Natural Enemy".

Many people also take this amazing supplement to reach and maintain optimal weight.

The Krill Miracle™

The Krill Miracle™

Concentrated Omega 3, 6 & 9, Many Times More Powerful than Fish Oil


The Best Colloidal Silver
on the Planet

Contains about 30 ppm of .9999 pure silver in de-ionized water.  Silver inhibits the growth of one-celled organisms, (such as bacteria and viruses) by deactivating the organism's oxygen metabolism enzymes. In turn, this destroys its' cell membranes, stopping the replication of its' DNA.


NAC SUSTAIN is in a bilayer Quick Release / Sustained Release format of N-ACETYL-L-CYSTEINE (NAC), a powerful antioxidant amino acid and a precursor to the critical antioxidant glutathione.

Glutathione is important for DNA repair and exerts a variety of protective effects, including detoxification and intracellular defense against oxidative stress.

An essential complimentary supplement for use with Sutherlandia OPC

SenTraMin 75 Powdered Plant Derived Mineral Capsules

Rockland's world famous plant derived minerals are now available in vegetable capsules. Each capsule contains 400 milligrams of approximately 75 minerals in their concentrated powdered form.

The Best Years in Life
P O Box 121 Cooper TX  75432  Phone: 903-886-2436  Fax: 903-829-3434  Email: Dquixote1217[at]gmail.com- (replace [at] with @)

Disclaimer: The information on this page and on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA.  We do not diagnose, treat, cure or prevent illness or disease - instead, we try to help people learn how to do so themselves.  Anyone who believes they have a serious medical condition or health issue should seek diagnoses from a qualified medical professional before making any decisions on how to best address their health. We do not sell or advocate drugs, nor do we make any claims that anything advocated or sold on this website is a drug.  Furthermore, anyone contemplating using any products or information on this website must accept such use as experimental and voluntary.  No claims are made regarding the therapeutic use of the products or information on this website and all products featured or sold on this website must be considered nutritional supplements only.