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Do Energy Drinks Make You Depressed?

A person taking a can of energy drink from a freezer in a store
Can energy drinks make you depressed?

Energy drinks have become everyone’s go-to beverage as they can provide a sufficient boost of energy. There’re thousands of energy drinks, and every one of them includes similar ingredients in different doses.

The most popular ingredient used in energy drinks is caffeine, while it can boost your energy levels, it can also lead to side effects like depression. Caffeine overdose or withdrawal has been associated with a number of side effects and one of them being depression.

The fluctuations in mood and irritability are caused by caffeine overdose or withdrawal which may account for increased levels of stress, depressive mood symptoms, and even suicidal behavior, especially in teenagers and young adults who consume energy drinks on a regular basis.

Energy drinks contain several other ingredients that may be causing side effects that are linked with depression, so keep on reading to find out.

Do Energy Drinks Affect Your Mental Health?

A can of Red Bull
Energy drinks can cause serious health complications

The most common ingredient used in energy drinks is caffeine, it stimulates the brain and the Central Nervous System. It’s used as an active ingredient as it has the capability to enhance your mental and physical performance which ultimately augments your productivity.

Caffeine has a significant effect on your brain, while a moderate dose can make you more focused and alert, an immoderate dose can cause anxiety and depressive mood.

Caffeine consumed in immoderate doses can be the worst thing you can do to your body, as excessive caffeine consumption has been associated with a number of side effects which include:

  • Restlessness and shakiness.
  • Insomnia.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fast heart rate.
  • Dehydration.
  • Anxiety.
  • Dependency.

Often energy drinks include high doses of caffeine which can be dangerous for many people according to the FDA, people should limit their caffeine intake to 400 mg per day.

For instance, one can of Celsius includes 200 mg of caffeine, and we know that people often consume more than 3 cans in one sitting. So if you consume 3 cans of Celsius in one sitting, you may suffer from a caffeine overdose.

Here’s a list of symptoms of caffeine overdose:

  • Dizziness.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Increased thirst.
  • Insomnia.
  • Headache.
  • Fever.
  • Irritability.

Energy drinks are quite strong, and you should always consume them in moderation, even if you have a high tolerance to caffeine, I suggest you keep it within the recommended limit to avoid any side effects.

Effects Of Energy Drinks On The Body

Four cans of Monster energy drink
Moderate caffeine intake can increase your energy levels, while immoderate caffeine intake can cause side effects

Energy drinks are created with many ingredients, the most commonly used ingredients are caffeine, sugar, taurine, and vitamins.

Let’s dig a little deeper and learn about the effects of these ingredients on the body.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that can be good for you if consumed in a moderate manner, besides giving you a boost of energy, it can provide several other benefits which include:

  • The chances of you living longer could increase.
  • Your body is able to process glucose (or sugar) better.
  • The chances of you developing heart failure decrease.
  • Less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.
  • Your DNA may become stronger.
  • The odds of being diagnosed with colon cancer may decrease.
  • The risk of Alzheimer’s disease may decrease.
  • You may not be as likely to suffer a stroke.

Sugar

Sugar doesn’t necessarily have any incredible or long-lasting benefits, there’re only two benefits worth mentioning, which include:

  • Sugar can boost your energy levels.
  • Sugar can be your boost your mood.

Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid that can be naturally found in seafood and meat. It’s included in almost every energy drink as it can provide a number of benefits which include:

  • It can support your metabolism.
  • It can significantly boost your physical performance.
  • It’s capable of protecting your musculoskeletal system.
  • It can keep your eyes and ears healthy.
  • It safeguards your heart against any heart disease.
  • It may fight brain aging.

Vitamins

There’re many vitamins and every one of them comes with innumerable benefits.

Vitamin A

  • It reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
  • It can keep your tissues and skin healthy.
  • Promotes bone growth and a healthy immune system.
  • It may lower the risk of lung cancer.

Vitamin B1, B2, B3, and B12

  • It plays a role in converting food into energy.
  • It’s essential for healthy skin, hair, muscles, and the brain.
  • Helps in the formation of healthy red blood cells

Vitamin B6

  • Can significantly improve mood and can reduce the symptoms of depression.
  • Can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • Known to prevent and treat Anemia.
  • It can be helpful in treating the symptoms of PMS.
  • Can treat nausea during pregnancy.
  • It can prevent clogged Arteries and which can reduce heart disease risk.
  • May be useful in preventing cancer.
  • Promotes eye Health.
  • Can treat inflammation linked with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Why Do Energy Drinks Give Me Anxiety?

Anxiety is one of the side effects of excessive caffeine intake. Caffeine stimulates the Central Nervous System which can increase heart rate and blood flow, leading to anxiety.

Anxiety should be the least of your concerns because there’re many other side effects of consuming energy drinks.

For instance, Red Bull has been researched to be the cause of many side effects, while the consumption of Monster energy drink has led people to their graves, and the common thing in both of them is that both contain high sugar and caffeine levels.

Here’s a list of side effects associated with the consumption of Red Bull:

  • Can cause a rise in your blood pressure levels and heart rate.
  • It can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Can be harmful to your teeth’ health.
  • Can cause negative effects on your kidney health.
  • Can have an increase in high-risk behavior.
  • May cause caffeine overdose and toxicity.

The only way to avoid any of those above-listed side effects is by limiting your consumption of energy drinks that are high in caffeine and sugar content.

Check out this video to know how energy drinks affect your body:

Effects of Caffeine

Does Sugar Make You Depressed?

Several studies have found an association between diets that are high in sugar and depression. Yes, immoderate consumption of sugar can trigger an imbalance in certain brain chemicals which can possibly lead to depression and may even increase the risk of developing a mental health disorder.

In my opinion, sugar is much worse than caffeine because too much caffeine may only cause anxiety, but excessive sugar intake can lead to side effects that are linked to a heart attack.

Here’s a list of side effects caused by immoderate ingestion of sugar:

  • Headaches.
  • Irritability.
  • Fatigue.
  • Difficulty in concentrating.
  • Feeling jittery.
  • Anxiousness.
  • Feeling shaky or dizzy.
  • Hunger.
  • Bloating
  • Higher blood pressure.
  • Inflammation.
  • Weight gain.
  • Diabetes.
  • Fatty liver disease.
  • Increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
A spoon of sugar with raspberry on top
Zero-sugar energy drinks may be healthier than energy drinks with high sugar content

Energy drinks include sugar in high doses either to mask the bitterness that some ingredients have, or to include another source of energy, besides caffeine.

If you want to avoid side effects linked with excessive sugar intake, I suggest you go for energy drinks that are low in sugar content.

Here is a list of some of the energy drinks with low sugar content:

Energy DrinkCalorieSugarCaffeine
REIGN100g300mg
Celsius100g200mg-300mg
G Fuel150g140mg-150mg
Zipfizz200g100mg
Monster Energy Ultra Zero00g160mg
Hiball00g160mg
Zevia00g38mg-55mg
List of energy drinks with low sugar content

According to the AHA, women are supposed to consume 25 g of sugar, whereas men should consume 36 g per day.

However, it’s not necessary to consume sugar every day, because there aren’t any significant benefits to that.

Nevertheless, if you want to consume sugar, I suggest you keep it within the recommended limits.

Alternatives To Energy Drink

A can of Red Bull placed beside a laptop and a glass filled with Red Bull
Switch your daily energy drink to green tea for a healthy heart

Energy drinks are the most popular beverage because of their alluring effects on the human brain. However, you have to pay the price.

So, why not try something that can only benefit you, check out the list below:

  • Green Juice
  • Green Tea
  • Fruit Juice
  • Smoothies
  • Herbal Tea
  • Kombucha

Conclusion

  • Energy drinks are dangerous for your health, they can cause many side effects and depression is one of them.
  • Energy drinks include large doses of caffeine and sugar, and to my surprise, both can contribute to increasing the risk of developing depression or other mental illnesses.
  • Energy drinks affect your brain and your body and can cause several side effects which include headaches and insomnia.
  • Energy drinks will only cause harm when they’re being consumed in an immoderate manner, meaning caffeine can be good for you if consumed in moderation.
  • Anxiety is also another side effect of consuming too much caffeine as caffeine can increase heart rate and blood pressure.

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