In fact, energy drinks have become a staple in people’s daily routines. It has become more common to consume them early in the morning to get people going.
Some might even say that their favorite brand is their breakfast already. But is this habit healthy?
While there aren’t many studies on this subject, through a detailed examination of the common ingredients present in energy drinks, I was able to come up with a conclusive answer.
It isn’t recommended but having energy drinks on an empty stomach occasionally is unlikely to cause any harmful effects. However, making a habit out of this may lead to stomach issues and loss of appetite.
Sugar’s Effects on an Empty Stomach
While some energy drinks have shifted towards artificial sweeteners, sugar continues to be used widely in most brands.
A common side effect is a lack of insulin within the body. The pancreas stops producing enough insulin when you have not eaten for a while, so your blood sugar levels may rise.
Most other proven negative effects of having sugar on an empty stomach are the same as they would be if you had previously eaten, these can occur if you have more than 30 grams of sugar in a single day.
So to sum it all up, whether or not you ate before you drank an energy drink doesn’t really make a difference in sugar’s potential effects on your body.
Find out more about these effects in the video below:
Effects of Caffeine on an Empty Stomach
Caffeine is another central ingredient of energy drinks. After all, caffeine is the main reason why we take energy drinks.
Caffeine is bitter and this characteristic causes gastric acid secretion. This can be harmful on an empty stomach as there are no ingredients present to prevent the acid from damaging the stomach.
Individuals have reported having faced stomach irritability, worsened symptoms of gut disorders, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Even still, there hasn’t been solid evidence suggesting a negative relationship between caffeine and the digestive system.
Loss of Appetite
So if you drink energy drinks on an empty stomach often, you may also start to lose your appetite more and more.
This will make you start skipping meals and feel less hungry, preventing intake of important nutrients, which can lead to a mild case of malnutrition.
Your health should always be the priority, even if you’re on a diet. Always pair your energy drinks with balanced meals and proper exercise.
Is Having B-Vitamins on an Empty Stomach Safe?
B vitamins are usually included in various energy drinks due to their ability to turn carbohydrates into glucose within the body and boosting energy.
Having B-Vitamins on an empty stomach is a more effective way of getting your desired result.
Vitamin B12, in particular, is absorbed faster when you haven’t eaten anything due to the stomach’s acidic environment.
B vitamin complex is also prescribed to people with certain deficiencies and is considered safe for consumption with or without food.
Is Having L-Carnitine on an Empty Stomach Safe?
L-Carnitine functions very similarly to B Vitamins when added to energy drinks. The nutrient can help energize you too.
It also helps turn fat into energy within the body. This is particularly helpful when you’re sweating in the gym and trying to burn calories!
L-Carnitine also comes in the form of supplements. Experts recommend having them on an empty stomach for a more effective result.
What are the Side Effects of Drinking Energy Drinks?
One common factor you will have to deal with when you excessively consume energy drinks, regardless of if you have eaten or not, are the side effects.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises a maximum of 400mg of caffeine in a single day.
For reference, a standard 8 fl. oz can of Red Bull contains 80mg and a 16 fl. oz Monster has 160mg.
Exceeding the limit may result in the following side effects.
Energy Drinks You Should Try
Here are a few energy drinks I recommend:
Other Notable Mentions
Having energy drinks on an empty stomach is not advised. The caffeine present in most energy drinks can stimulate stomach acid and cause damage to the lining surrounding the gut walls, and this can cause several problems.
While some individual ingredients can be taken on an empty stomach, energy drinks as a whole are not dietary or nutritional supplements that can replace meals.
The best way to avoid pesky side effects is to have your healthy meals on time and practice moderation when drinking energy drinks!