Top 10 Energy Drink Benefits
Despite all the bad press energy drinks receive, there are several benefits to using them.
This fact explains why energy drinks are a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide and how this beverage segment is still growing despite the negative press regarding the product’s potentially harmful effects.
Whether you personally love them or hate them, here’s why people keep coming back for more.
Energy Drink Benefits
- More Energy: The first benefit, of course, is the painfully obvious one. Energy drinks produce feelings of alertness, wakefulness, and productivity.
- Standardized caffeine amount: With coffee and tea, caffeine amounts can vary greatly and the amounts displayed in our database are only averages. With energy drinks, there is a standardized amount of caffeine in each can. For the most part, consumers know exactly how much caffeine they are getting, which is helpful for those trying to safely manage their caffeine habit.
- Fast caffeine delivery: Because energy drinks are served cold, they can be consumed much quicker than coffee, which is usually only sipped because of its hot temperature. Quicker consumption leads to caffeine getting into the bloodstream quicker.
- A variety of flavors: The flavor of coffee and tea does not appeal to everyone so energy drinks are beneficial for people that want a caffeine boost but do not like coffee or tea. Energy drinks come in a multitude of flavors and options.
- Additional supplements: Besides caffeine, energy drinks often contain other energy ingredients like taurine, B vitamins, ginseng, and glucuronolactone. These are believed to enhance their effect. While the jury is still out on whether they actually do, they may offer more of a long-term energy benefit rather than an immediately perceived effect. Some brands like Morning Complete offer a lot of useful energy supplements without the use of caffeine.
- Refreshing: Because most energy drinks are served cold and carbonated, they have a refreshing effect on the consumer. For many, this makes them more appealing than other caffeinated beverages that are usually consumed hot and along with a dairy product.
- Convenient: Energy drinks don’t have to be brewed or heated, making them a quick RTD caffeine delivery product.
- More affordable than Starbucks and other gourmet coffees: With many Starbucks drinks approaching $5, energy drinks are a cheaper alternative. Some brands are only $1 and often convenience stores offer popular brands at 2 for $3 during special promotions.
- Faster recovery after exercise: Energy drinks offer a way for athletes to recover faster from exercise because of the caffeine and carbs they contain. Many athletes prefer a cold and light beverage after a workout as opposed to a hot or milky one.
- Zero-calorie options: While black coffee is zero calories, few people actually drink coffee black, but enhance the flavor with sugar, milk, cream, or even butter. There are many zero-calorie energy drinks available that deliver the caffeine without the calories and sugar.
Energy Drinks and Moderation
Just like with any caffeinated product, moderation is key and energy drinks are no different. Consumers should consume energy drinks in moderation or the benefits they offer quickly are outweighed by the potential harm that they could cause.
Energy drink consumers should be aware of their personal caffeine safe limit and can use our caffeine calculator to find out how many cans of their favorite energy drink can be consumed daily to stay within that safe limit.
Besides a few exceptions, the negative press energy drinks have received revolved around reports of people going to the ER because of the negative side effects of consuming too many energy drinks in a short period of time. The exceptions to this involve people with pre-existing heart conditions that make any amount of caffeine dangerous. (Recent research has shown that the combination of ingredients in energy drinks can make them dangerous for some people because they change the way the heart contracts. Src.)
Energy Drinks and Kids
Although energy drinks are fairly popular with teenagers, they really are adult beverages. Since many contain caffeine levels that are higher than what’s recommended for those under 18 years of age, they just aren’t suitable for a growing individual.
Also, kids may not yet be aware of their sensitivity to caffeine or of any preexisting heart conditions that may have yet to be diagnosed. These reasons make energy drink consumption risky for this age group.
The Benefits of Energy Drinks Aren’t Universal
While some may benefit from energy drink consumption and enjoy these beverages, others may not. Some may actually feel as if they benefit more from coffee or tea.
This is ok and either choice does not make one group superior or inferior to the other.
Often people who drink energy drinks are looked down on and told that they are ruining their health and body. While most of the research to date would not support that notion unless a person is consuming energy drinks in excess, it is important to understand how any product is affecting your unique health profile by getting yearly physicals and blood work.
The benefits of energy drinks are the reason for their popularity but just like with most things in life, practicing moderation is the key.
- Pedersen, D. J., Lessard, S. J., Coffey, V. G., Churchley, E. G., Wootton, A. M., Watt, M. J., & Hawley, J. A. (2008). High rates of muscle glycogen resynthesis after exhaustive exercise when carbohydrate is coingested with caffeine. Journal of Applied Physiology, 105(1), 7-13.
- Nordt, S. P., Vilke, G. M., Clark, R. F., Cantrell, F. L., Chan, T. C., Galinato, M., ... & Castillo, E. M. (2012). Energy drink use and adverse effects among emergency department patients. Journal of community health, 37(5), 976-981.
- Seifert, S. M., Schaechter, J. L., Hershorin, E. R., & Lipshultz, S. E. (2011). Health effects of energy drinks on children, adolescents, and young adults. Pediatrics, 127(3), 511-528.