If you're looking for a relatively simple way to get a boost throughout the day - whether for a pre-workout pick-me-up or to help you get through late-night study sessions - you've probably considered loading up on energy drinks and supplements. Well-informed athletes and health enthusiast may even take a few deep breaths of recreational oxygen. In this guide we'll cover the pros and cons of each.
Energy drinks are known to give you an instant boost of energy. However, new research points to the fact that many leading energy drinks are not considered healthy, and some many even be harmful. A recent study from the Mayo Clinic showed that a single energy drink can increase heart disease risk in young adults while significantly boosting blood pressure and stress hormone response (Mayo Clinic). They can also lead to nervousness, irritability, insomnia, rapid heartbeat and increased blood pressure.
That's because, according to a doctor at the Oxford Online Pharmacy, energy drinks can lead to heart palpitations and rapid heartrate. The increased stress on your heart, blood vessels and kidneys are also proven to lead to higher chances of cardiovascular and renal conditions. Additionally, energy drinks are responsible for making the liver work overtime, which causes it to pay less attention to removing your body's most harmful toxins, which could lead to other illnesses (Fletcher).
If that's not enough to scare you, another recent study suggests that drinking energy drinks could even kill you. The study claims that those who consumed energy drinks have a higher risk of dangerous heart rhythms and even death. And, because energy drinks are relatively new to the market, there is still not enough research available to determine the long-term negative effects of the drink (Ten).
Further, energy drinks are jam-packed with stuff that's bad for you. For example, most are laden with caffeine, sugar and Guarana, a plant that's similar to caffeine but has a prolonged effect. Some also have ginseng, which may cause a lack of sleep, a faster heart rate and high blood pressure (Dawson). What's more, because energy drinks are regulated through the FDA as a dietary supplement, there is no control over what goes in them (Kelley).
Supplements certainly seem like they'd be a great way to boost your day-to-day energy, as long as they're properly administered. Supplements are often infused with herbs like ginseng, guarana and yerba rate are said to help restore energy levels, but the evidence is unclear as to whether these supplements actually do anything or not (Zamora). The same research suggests that these herbs can interfere with your body in negative ways. Ginseng, for example, can raise blood pressure in users that are prone to hypertension. Supplements may also interfere with some medications, so it's important to know which, and how much to take so you do not have any adverse side effects.
Recreational oxygen, such as Oxygen Plus canisters, provides an easy, side-effect free energy boost and recovery aid. In fact, breathing supplemental oxygen has been shown to enhance cognitive performance in healthy, young adults (Moss). Additionally, pure recreational oxygen does not contain any sugar, fat, carbohydrates or other potentially harmful ingredients. Recreational oxygen, when used as directed by health individuals, is completely safe and can be breathed multiple times throughout the day - without any side effects or fears of overdose. It's just pure recreational oxygen, so, along with food, the oxygen helps fuel your cells with the energy you need to think and perform at your optimum level (see chart). Portable recreational oxygen canisters, like Oxygen Plus, are easy to take with you wherever you go and are a safe, sleek way keep you alert, sharp and energized throughout the day. Think about how bottled water helps your body function like a well-oiled machine. Oxygen Plus helps in a similar way: It's a totally natural, pure ingredient you can give your body to function at it's best at times you need it most.
Dawson, Dr. Rachel. "Energy drinks are not safe as advertised." Temple Daily Telegram. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
Fletcher, Becky. "REVEALED: Exactly what energy drinks do to your body." Express.co.uk. Express.co.uk, 10 Feb. 2016. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
Kelley, Jaclyn. "As energy drink sales soar, doctors warn of health risks for young teens, children." WEAR. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
Mayo Clinic. "Mayo Clinic study: One energy drink may increase heart disease risk in young adults." EurekAlert! N.p., 9 Nov. 2015. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.
Moss, MC, Scholey, AB, Wesnes, K, "Oxygen administration selectively enhances cognitive performance in healthy young adults: A placebo-controlled double-blind crossover study," Journal of Psychopharmacology, 1998 Dec;138:27-33
Ten, Network. "Risking your life for a beverage - a new study reveals the dangers of consuming energy drinks." TenPlay. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
Zamora, Dulce. "Energy for Sale." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.