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Do Energy Drinks Make Your Kidneys Hurt? (The Reality)

Energy drinks are meant to fill you up with energy
Energy drinks are meant to fill you up with energy

Energy drinks are everyone’s go-to beverage because these drinks are jacked with all the elements that will provide the required power to get you through the day.

Energy drinks have become wildly popular and are consumed at an unhealthy rate. People drink these energy beverages without even realizing that they could be causing themselves some long-term health conditions.

Energy drink is a huge industry, meaning there’s a wide range of energy drink brands, and with that comes an extremely wide range of different drinks.

Energy drinks may give you a short-term energy boost. That said, these energy drinks could cause several health conditions, like heart strokes.

Another health condition that can be caused by the immoderate consumption of energy drinks is kidney disease. However, energy drinks on their own wouldn’t harm your kidney, there’re some ingredients that play a role in causing harm to your kidney.

To find out how energy drinks affect your kidney, keep on reading. Let’s dive into it!

How Do Energy Drinks Affect Kidneys?

Overconsumption of energy drinks can be fatal
Overconsumption of energy drinks can be fatal

Certain circumstances, like the overwhelming consumption of energy drinks, can potentially harm your overall health, not just your kidneys.

Moreover, other than overconsumption, energy drinks couldn’t have severe effects on your health. However if energy drinks, like Monster are combined with alcohol, they can be harmful to your overall health.

The dangerous combination of energy drinks and alcohol has been associated with kidney damage and an imbalance in kidney tissue. Moreover, it can lead to your kidney being harmed by oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is known to cause damage to cells which contributes to the development of health conditions like diabetes and cancer.

One of the most popular drinks, Red Bull has been linked with harming your kidneys. Research including rats found that regular and excessive consumption of Red Bull may be the cause of a decline in kidney function.

Moreover, several kinds of research suggest a connection between a high amount of sugar and an increased risk of chronic kidney disease. As many energy drinks like Red Bull are extremely high in sugar content, they can cause chronic kidney disease.

Which Ingredients In Energy Drinks Are Likely To Cause Kidney Damage?

Caffeine

Caffeine is a well-known energy drink ingredient and an 8.4 oz can of Red Bull contains about 80 mg of caffeine. A 16 oz serving of Rockstar energy drink has about 160 mg of caffeine and an average American consumes 300 mg of caffeine per day.

Energy drinks are marketed to adults, but teenagers and young adults consume energy drinks on a daily basis as well.

An adult’s body can process the huge amounts of caffeine present in energy drinks, but a teenager’s body may not be able to do it which may lead to health conditions and kidney disease can be one of them.

Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid that can be found naturally in protein sources including milk, meat, and fish. It’s one of the most common ingredients that is included in sports supplements as it’s believed to enhance athletic ability.

However, high levels of taurine in your blood may have damaging consequences which are most likely to happen in people who suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD).

However, it’s debatable if consuming taurine can have harmful side effects on healthy kidneys.

Sugar

Sugar is a significant component of energy drinks
Sugar is a significant component of energy drinks

Almost all energy drinks contain a notoriously high dose of sugar and excessive consumption of sugar can have side effects which include:

  • Weight Gain.
  • Increased Risk of Heart Disease.
  • Can Cause Acne.
  • Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Increased Risk of Cancer.
  • Increased Risk of Depression.
  • Fastens Skin Aging Process.
  • Increases Cellular Aging.

While kidney disease may not directly be one of the side effects of sugar, one should keep in mind that health conditions like cancer and depression have effects on your overall health.

The recommended amount of sugar is 25g for women, and 36g for men per day.

Besides the harmful effects from the accumulation of sugar with excess intake, data exist that links the varying effects including renal failure which is caused by excessive Red Bull consumption, an increase in systolic as well as diastolic blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and even reduced supply of blood to the brain.

How to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy?

Kidneys are among the main organs of the body as they are responsible for the proper performance of various regulatory reactions in the body which are:

  • Regulation of body fluids 
  • Filtration of water and toxins
  • Quick-release of insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels
  • Activation of vitamin D
  • Release of erythropoietin, the hormone which is responsible for the production of red blood cells
  • Regulation of balanced mineral retention

Problems caused by kidney diseases

As the Kidneys are one of the main organs, kidney disease can affect you in many dangerous ways like:

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

Risk Factors

Here’s a list of factors that should be aware of:

  • Diabetes (can be genetic)
  • High blood pressure (can be hereditary)
  • Heart diseases (can be hereditary)
  • Family history of health conditions like kidney failure, diabetes, or high blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Age factor
  • Low birth weight
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Chronic urinary tract infections
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Kidney stones

Possible Symptoms Of Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of the disease may take time to appeear
Symptoms of the disease may take time to appear

In the early stages of kidney disease, most people may not experience many symptoms. However, by the time symptoms start showing, the condition gets worse.

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

How To Maintain A Healthy Body?

It’s essential for the human body to be taken care of properly because poor maintenance can lead to several health conditions. For instance, if you don’t brush your teeth and consume energy drinks every day, it can lead to tooth decay.

Here are some healthy measures that you should incorporate in your life to keep your kidneys safe from disease:

  • Keep blood pressure in check
  • Maintain stability in your blood sugar levels
  • Cut down salt in your diet
  • Keep moderation in protein consumption
  • Get flu shots annually
  • Get frequent check-ups
  • Maintain a regular exercise routine
  • Control your weight
  • Maintain a balanced diet
  • Refrain from smoking
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Drink a plenty amount of water every day
  • Monitor cholesterol levels
  • Know your family medical history

Pros & Cons Of Consuming Energy Drinks

Overconsumption of energy drinks may lead to serious health issues
Overconsumption of energy drinks may lead to serious health issues

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

Pros of drinking energy drinksCons of consuming Energy Drinks
The most well-known and most influential thing about consuming energy drinks is that they have the ability to energize and refresh a person for a short timeOverconsumption of energy drinks has been found to cause an increase in heart rate
Energy drinks boost physical and mental performance which results in increased productivityHigh blood pressure is also a commonly occurring side effect of overconsumption of energy drinks
Energy drinks come in an extensive range of flavorsExceeding the regulated quantity of energy drink consumption can also lead to heart palpitations
Energy drinks also come in diet-friendly, zero-calorie options.Overconsumption may also lead to insomnia and restlessness
Energy drinks are known to improve your mood as wellDehydration is another potential side effect of immoderate energy drink consumption
This table describes the difference between the pros and cons of drinking energy drinks

Here’s a video that talks about how energy drinks affect your body, so have look.

How energy drinks may affect your body

General Composition Of Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are created with a wide range of great nutrients that help you stay energetic, active, and focused.

Here’s a list of ingredients that are present in almost every energy drink:

  • Glucuronolactone
  • Taurine
  • Caffeine
  • B vitamins
  • Guarana
  • Ginseng
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • L-carnitine
  • Sugars
  • Antioxidants
  • Trace minerals

How Do The Ingredients Present In Energy Drinks Affect The Kidneys?

Ingredients in energy drinks can turn harmful to kidney health
Ingredients in energy drinks can turn harmful to kidney health

Energy drinks may be good for you for a short period of time, but many ingredients that keep you energetic may be causing some long-term health issues.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a compound considered a cognitive stimulant, it’s the most active ingredient that is present in almost every energy drink. On the contrary, it’s also known for causing several negative side effects.

One of the side effects includes kidney stones, but it happens in cases of overconsumption. The FDA recommends limiting your caffeine intake to 400 mg per day.

Taurine

Taurine is an organic compound that contributes to nerve growth. However, in some rare cases, it has been found to have a damaging effect on the health of people who’re suffering from chronic kidney diseases.

Sugar

Sugar is a sweet-tasting additive that is added to foods for mostly flavoring. Plus, sugar is also known to keep you energized.

Although sugar may not directly affect the kidney, high sugar consumption may lead to diabetes, which will lead to the blood vessels in your kidneys getting clogged.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B Complex is a group of vitamins that’s added to energy drinks in order to amplify their nutritional value.

These vitamins often have a huge benefit on kidney health because they protect the kidney against any kind of development of kidney diseases, especially in people who have diabetes.

Nonetheless, high doses of Vitamin B have been linked with an increased decline in kidney function in people who already have kidney disease from diabetes.

Guarana

Guarana is a plant that naturally contains caffeine and also has the same effects on the body as caffeine.

However, the most detrimental side effect of overconsuming guarana is that it can flush out all the calcium through the kidneys.

Ginseng

Ginseng is a plant and is known for several health advantages in traditional as well as western medicine.

Ginseng is a herb and patients with Chronic kidney disease have been found to harm kidneys. Supplements containing herbs, like ginseng, may potentially damage people at risk for kidney disease.

Gingko Biloba

Gingko Biloba is a herbaceous plant that benefits as well as harm people with chronic kidney disease.

Ginkgo is one of 39 herbs which was identified by the National Kidney Foundation as extremely harmful to patients who’re suffering from chronic kidney disease.

Alternatives To Energy Drinks

Energy drinks can be swapped with healthy alternatives
Energy drinks can be swapped with healthy alternatives

What you need in your diet are some healthy beverages, so here’s a list of some alternatives to energy drinks, try them out.

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

Conclusion

  • Energy drinks can only hurt your kidneys if consumed in immoderation.
  • Combining energy drink with alcohol have been found to cause harm to the kidneys’ health.
  • Energy drinks contain ingredients that may be harmful to your kidneys, like caffeine and ginseng.
  • It’s extremely essential to be mindful of what you’re putting in your body, especially when you have a pre-existing health condition.
  • I would recommend you to have moderation in the consumption of energy drinks in order to avoid any potential health conditions.
  • You should keep in mind the pros and cons of energy drinks.
  • Energy drinks are replaceable with healthy drinks like green tea.

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