In 1987, Red Bull introduced its energy drink with the memorable slogan ‘Red Bull Gives You Wings’ which was subsequently changed to ‘Red Bull Gives You Wiings’. On its release, the drink became an instant hit with clubbers as its high caffeine and sugar content provided a short but powerful burst of energy; however, headlines soon began to appear warning of the dangers of drinks such as Red Bull and Monster after several young people were hospitalised after drinking as few as two cans during a night out.
What’s so bad about energy drinks?
While there’s no denying that these drinks can add a bit of oomph to your evening and help you to dance the night away, they can have a seriously negative impact on health – particularly that of children and young adults. To begin with, these drinks contain, on average, a similar amount of caffeine to a strong cup of coffee. If you’ve ever experienced that unpleasant jittery feeling that you get after too many cups of Joe, you’ll understand why downing more than one can of these drinks may not be a good idea.
Many energy drinks also contain taurine; a naturally occurring non-proteinogenic amino sulfonic acid (got that?) which is stored in the large intestine and is a main constituent of bile. While taurine is usually not harmful in naturally occurring amounts, excessive levels can result in some alarming side effects including:
⦁ An increase in heart rate and blood pressure
⦁ Disturbed sleep patterns
⦁ Sudden weight gain
⦁ An increase in blood cholesterol levels
⦁ Higher than normal blood sugars
As if all that wasn’t enough, energy drinks also contain around 10 grams of sugar per 250ml can – something which, in adults, can lead to health issues such as diabetes if consumed to excess. According to the NHS, adults should consume no more than 30g of sugar per day and children aged between 7 and 10 no more than 24g.
When combined in one relatively small drink, these three ingredients have the potential to cause harm to our health – particularly as a 2018 government consultation found that 25% of children who buy these drinks will consume three or more cans at a time. The negative impact of these drinks is such that, in 2019, the UK government announced its intention to ban the sale of these drinks to children under the age of 16 however, shockingly, this is yet to be put into legislation.
The impact of long-term consumption of energy drinks is not just enough to keep you awake at night; these beverages can have some really serious health effects including:
⦁ Increased blood pressure
⦁ Disturbed sleep / insomnia
⦁ Headaches and migraines
⦁ Stomach issues
⦁ Kidney issues
⦁ Heart problems including cardiac episodes.
I think we can all agree that this is a pretty high price to pay for a bit of extra energy!
What’s the alternative?
With our busy lives, we could all do with a bit more people power now and again and, the good news is that you don’t need to load up on caffeine or sugar to get your energy fix. We all know that a healthy, protein-filled diet is key to our energy levels – but we also know that, sometimes, that’s not quite enough. The answer comes in the form of Moringa Oleifera – a native Indian tree whose byproducts contain lots of natural goodies including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This versatile plant is also an adaptogen which means that they can increase and decrease chemical reactions within the body to restore balance. For example, if you are suffering from stress due to elevated levels of cortisol, adaptogens such as Moringa can make light work of putting things right. Similarly, the herbal action of adaptogens can increase cortisol levels in order to fight fatigue, giving you a natural and long-lasting energy boost.
Do I need to take a tablet or supplement?
Nope! The great news is that this clever plant is available in a delicious and convenient tea and mocktail form, making it easy to get your fix – even while on the go. You can even get your hands on our mulled wine flavour for those special occasions (even if ‘special occasion’ means its Wednesday). Even better, at Superlife Infusions, we’re proud to announce that we will soon be introducing our new kid’s collection of drinks in a range of tantalising flavours to put a spring in their step the natural way!
A healthier future – drop by drop
In 2023, many of us are taking a closer look at the food and drinks that we consume and, more and more Brits are looking for products containing more healthy – and natural – ingredients. Making small changes such as switching out energy drinks for more natural and less harmful alternatives is a really good way of putting that first foot on the path toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.