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Do Energy Drinks Cause Kidney Stones (Revealed)

Energy drinks have multiple life-threatening side effects
Energy drinks have multiple life-threatening side effects

Energy drink helps you get your day moving, and possibly get many productive results.

Moreover, energy drinks are also consumed as a pre-workout because they contain many active ingredients that play a role in giving you a boost of energy.

However, consuming energy drinks is associated with multiple side effects and one of them is kidney stones.

Kidney stones are a result of overconsuming energy drinks, other than that there’re many other side effects that we’ll shed light on. Let’s get started!

What Causes Kidney Stones?

Energy drinks on their own may not affect your kidneys. On the other hand, overuse of such drinks and combining them with alcohol just might.

Energy drinks contain many ingredients that have been found to cause kidney stones and other kidney diseases. Moreover, besides energy drinks, there’re several other things that contribute to the development of kidney stones.

Here’s a list of factors that can develop kidney disease.

  • Oxalates
  • Taurine
  • Dehydration
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin C
  • Caffeine
  • Sugar
  • Vitamin B
  • Guarana
  • Ginseng
  • Gingko Biloba
Overuse of caffeine can cause kidney disease
Overuse of caffeine can cause kidney disease

Let’s dig deep and learn more about these listed factors.

Oxalates

Oxalates are one of the biggest contributors to kidney stones, its a naturally occurring compound that can be found in many foods like spinach, rhubarb, beets, figs, potatoes, tomatoes, and chocolate, and its presence in energy drinks as well.

If there’s a huge amount of oxalates in your kidneys, they can get combined with other minerals, mostly calcium in order to form calcium oxalate crystals which will become calcium oxalate kidney stones.

So, if you overconsume foods and energy drinks that are high in oxalates, you may just develop kidney stones.

Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid that is found naturally in protein sources which include milk, meat, and fish. It’s one of the most common ingredients found in sports supplements as it enhances athletic ability.

Nonetheless, high levels of taurine in your blood have harmful consequences, which are most likely to occur in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Dehydration

When your body becomes dehydrated, there is an increased concentration of oxalates and minerals present in the kidneys, which makes it prone to form bonds and develop kidney stones.

Sodium

Sodium is an essential ingredient of many energy drinks and just like sugar, sodium that you consume will affect what amount of calcium is in your urine.

It’s found that the greater amount of calcium that is present, there’s higher the risk you’ll develop a kidney stone.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important for your body and you can find its energy drinks. As some energy drinks have higher levels of vitamin C and people often consume an immoderate amount of energy drinks, it can lead to the development of kidney stones.

Caffeine

Caffeine is an active ingredient that is present in all energy drinks, however often in immoderate amounts, an 8.4 oz can of Red Bull has 80 mg of caffeine, an 16 oz serving of Rockstar energy drink has 160 mg of caffeine, and an average American consumes 300 mg of caffeine per day.

Energy drinks are marketed to adults only, but teenagers and young adults have become energy drink enthusiasts as well and on a daily basis.

An adult’s body can process the amounts of caffeine that energy drinks have, however bodies of teenagers may not be able to do it, leading to health conditions like kidney disease.

Sugar

Sugar can cause type 2 diabetes
Sugar can cause type 2 diabetes

Sugar is a sweet-tasting additive that is included in foods for flavoring, but sugar is also known to keep you energized throughout the day, which is another reason why most energy drinks contain a huge amount of sugar.

Moreover, sugar may not directly have an effect on your kidney, however, a high intake of sugar may lead to diabetes, which will eventually lead to the blood vessels in your kidneys being clogged.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B Complex is a group of vitamins that you can find in several energy drinks, these vitamins are added to amplify nutritional value.

Moderate doses of such vitamins have many benefits on kidney health as they protect the kidney against the development of any kind of kidney disease, especially in patients with diabetes.

High doses of Vitamin B can result in an increased decline in kidney function in patients with pre-existing kidney disease from diabetes.

Guarana

Guarana is a plant that naturally consisted of caffeine, thus it has similar effects on the body as caffeine.

However, overconsuming guarana can flush out all the calcium through your kidneys which will result in kidney stones.

Ginseng

Ginseng is a plant that is known for multiple health advantages in both, traditional and western medicine.

Ginseng is a herb that has resulted in damaging the kidneys of patients who’re suffering from Chronic kidney disease.

Gingko Biloba

Gingko Biloba is a herbaceous plant that has its benefits and harmful effects on people with chronic kidney disease.

Ginkgo is one of 39 herbs that is identified by the National Kidney Foundation as a harmful herb that can be extremely dangerous for patients with chronic kidney disease.

How to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy?

Kidneys are one of the main organs of the body because they’re responsible for the proper functioning of different regulatory reactions which include:

  • Regulation of fluids in your body
  • Filtration of water and toxins
  • Quick-release of insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels
  • Activation of vitamin D
  • Release of erythropoietin, the hormone that is responsible for the generation of red blood cells
  • Regulation of mineral retention

Here’s a list of things that you should do to keep your kidneys safe from Kidney disease:

  • Keep blood pressure in check
  • Maintain stability in your blood sugar levels
  • Cut down excessive salt in your diet
  • Keep moderation in the consumption of protein
  • Get annual flu shots
  • Get frequent check-ups

Problems caused by kidney diseases

As Kidneys are one of the main organs, therefore they can have dangerous effects on other parts of your body which may include:

  • Heart attack
  • Fluctuation in blood pressure
  • Weakening of bones
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy)
  • Kidney failure (end-stage kidney disease, or ESRD)
  • Anemia

Possible Symptoms Of Kidney Diseases

Painful urination is one of the symptoms of kidney stones
Painful urination is one of the symptoms of kidney stones

In the early stages of kidney disease, the symptoms aren’t visible, however, by the time symptoms start showing, the condition worsens.

Therefore here’s a list of symptoms that you should pay attention to:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Painful urination
  • Foamy urine
  • Dark urine (blood in urine)
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased need to urinate (especially at night)
  • Puffy eyes
  • Swollen face, hands, abdomen, ankles, feet

What Happens After Consuming Energy Drinks

Energy drinks can have positive as well as negative effects
Energy drinks can have positive as well as negative effects

Well, energy drinks affect you in a positive way and also in a negative way.

Energy drinks are known to keep you energized and enhance your mental and physical performance. That said, consuming energy drinks may lead to some side effects, like jitters.

Here’s a table of the pros and cons of consuming energy drinks:

Pros of drinking energy drinksCons of consuming Energy Drinks
Consuming energy drinks energizes and refreshes a person for a short period of timeOveruse of energy drinks has been linked to increased heart rate
Energy drinks increased your physical and mental performance, resulting in increased productivityHigh blood pressure is one of the side effects that occur after the overconsumption of energy drinks
Energy drinks come in a wide range of flavorsincreasing the regulated dose of energy drinks can lead to heart palpitations
You can find energy drinks that are diet-friendly, sugar-free, and zero-calorieOveruse also leads to insomnia and restlessness
Energy drinks are a great option as a pre-workout drink as it contains many active ingredients that will enhance your performanceEnergy drinks, like Red Bull, have been linked with heart attacks and even death.
Energy drinks improve mood as wellDehydration can occur after an immoderate consumption of energy drink
Detailed comparison of pros and cons of energy drinks

Here’s a visual guide on answering if energy drinks have the potential to cause kidney stones, so have look.

Can energy drinks cause kidney stones?

What To Do To Prevent Kidney Stones?

They’re things that you can do to prevent kidney stones, here’s a list of them:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat more calcium-rich foods
  • Eat less sodium
  • Eat fewer oxalate-rich foods
  • Avoid vitamin C supplements
  • Try herbal remedies
  • Increase your citric acid intake
  • Eat less animal protein

Alternatives To Energy Drinks

People are consuming all those unhealthy beverages for only one reason which is to stay energetic. But they forget how these beverages may be affecting them.

Here’s a list of beverages that you should incorporate into your diet to stay healthy:

  • Green Tea
  • Yerba Mate
  • Ginger Root Tea
  • Fresh Juice

Conclusion

Green tea is a great alternative to energy drinks
  • Energy drinks have been linked with several dangerous side effects and one of them is kidney stones.
  • Other than overconsuming energy drinks, there’re other things that can cause kidney stones, like sodium, vitamin c, caffeine, and guarana.
  • When you develop a kidney stone, you may experience some symptoms like fatigue, foamy urine, and painful urination.
  • I don’t recommend drinks that are high in elements like caffeine, sugar, vitamins, ginseng, and guarana. Because high doses of such elements have been found to cause kidney stones.
  • If you consume energy drinks on a daily basis, I would recommend you add green tea or fruit juice to your diet.

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