The Naked Truth about Energy Drinks (4 September 2018)

 Every Tuesday on 
East Coast Drive with Bongani and Mags
between 16h40 & 16h50


It is no secret that sugar is addictive, a number one health hazard that is contained (in huge quantities) in all energy drinks. This does not, however, stop people from consuming these energy drinks. South Africa ranks 5th in the world as a country with most of the population consuming energy drinks. It is largely men between 35 and 40 years old.


The Content:

  1. SUGAR:
    All energy drinks contain mainly sugar and caffeine. Now the sugar content is alarming, as it goes up to 12 teaspoons of sugar per 300ml depending on the brand. This said, it must be noted that the consumption of sugary drinks leads to an increase of ones intake of calories and this can lead to obesity and other health problems such as diabetes, fatty liver disease and many more.
    Caffeine is a stimulant found in all energy drinks, depending on the brand one will get up to 500mg of caffeine per can. Now a caffeine intake of 400mg per day is considered safe but that threshold depends on an individual’s immune system/ genetics and whether they are active or inactive.

The Dangers:

There many dangers related to the intake of energy drinks, for now we will focus on the following combinations:

  1. Energy Drink with Alcohol:
    This is popular trend especially amongst young people particularly those in the Entertainment Industry and even Marketing. The working hours can be long and the job itself is about socializing so to get  the energy going the solution is often an Energy Drink (often with alcohol). This might be a solution for now but the long term effects can be deadly. An intake of an Energy Drink together with Alcohol may lead to seizures and  cardiovascular problems such as ABNORMAL HEART RHYTHM and ABNORMALLY RAPID BREATHING.
  2. Energy Drink while Exercising:
    Caffeine is one of the active ingredients in energy drinks and it also happens to stimulate urine production which removes water from the body. When you exercise you lose water in a form of sweat now if you are already losing water in sweat, losing more in the urine means may lead to dehydration.

Added to the above, there are negative effects to one’s Blood Pressure and the Heart. After drinking an energy drink one’s blood pressure increases by 5 point (with coffee it’s just one point) and the level remains elevated for up to six hours.

If you already have heart problems, I strongly suggest you stay away from energy drinks as they alter your heart beat rate as follows:

  • Racing Heart (Faster than usual)
  • Skipping or Jumping Heartbeat
  • Feeling jittery or anxious
  • Long Dizzy Spells