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The Negative Health Effects of Energy Drinks

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Energy drinks are being consumed more and more in today’s society. The consumers of energy drinks are also getting younger and younger. I found my advertainments on the internet however they have also popped up on my social media as suggested or under sponsored. This essay will discuss the negative health effects of different energy drinks as well as the social, cultural and economic consequences that go with the use of these energy drinks. Lastly this essay will suggest a healthier alternative to energy drinks.

There are two advertisements I have chosen to critique; however, I will also look at the effects of energy drinks in general. Majority of the energy drink advertisements are the same and they are abundant on television, social media sites and the internet. I chose these two advertisements as for me they were the two that stood out the most, they were the two that were most likely to catch people’s attention and make them want to go out and buy these drinks. Both of these advertisements cater to the whole ideal of energy drinks giving you energy to keep going and stay up all night. Both of these advertisements also feed into the unrealistic idea that one energy drink can give you the ability to accomplish things you were not able to do before.

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Energy drinks contain many ingredients that supposedly give you energy such as; caffeine, B vitamins, taurine, ginseng, etc (Heckman, Sherry & Gonzalez de Mejia, 2010). Due to the high demand for energy drinks many stores are now stocking more, it has been found that almost 20% of all stock in stores is made up of energy drinks (Gunja & Brown, 2012). Most people today consume energy drinks as they are under the impression that it will give then the energy their bodies are lacking to complete the tasks they need to get done. We currently live in an overworked society where not many people have enough time to get all the work they need to get done before the deadlines that have been set, therefore people compromise their sleep patterns and the amount of sleep they receive decreases, pushing them towards the use of energy drinks. The target market for most energy drinks is young adults and teenagers as they are unaware of the health effects and they are easily attracted to the marking (Gunja & Brown, 2012). The most common health effects related to energy drinks are; tremors, dizziness, insomnia, headaches, palpitations and respiratory distress (Gunja & Brown, 2012).

Caffeine is the major ingredient in energy drinks and comprises most of the energy drink. Caffeine on its own has a huge amount of adverse effects on an individuals health including; increased heart rate (if your heart starts pumping too fast it can cause a blood vessel to rupture), increased blood pressure (this can also lead to a blood vessel rupturing as well as increasing the risk of a heart attack), talking faster, increased motor activity (which leads to an increase in body movements as well as overstimulation as the nerves too become overactive), increased body temperature (an increase in body temperature has its own effects on the body, some of which can be fatal) and lastly caffeine is known to cause the heart to beat irregularly which can affect other organs blood supply (Schneider & Benjamin, 2011).

Society does not seem to see the large problem with these energy drinks. Energy drinks cause people to stay up all night and not sleep which alone has harmful impacts on your health, including; impaired concentration, increased anxiety, mood swings and increased chances of substance abuse (Roberts, Roberts & Duong, 2008). Some of the other harmful impacts on an individuals health that society should be concerned about are; dental erosion (most energy drinks have an acidic pH, acids have an increased ability to damage and dissolve the enamel that makes our teeth), blocked blood vessels (taurine, an ingredient in many energy drinks, has the ability to change the concentration of calcium in the body which can lead to blocked blood vessels especially in the muscles), abnormal or excess weight loss, abnormal or excess weight gain and dehydration (Schneider & Benjamin, 2011).

Energy drinks are becoming a large problem in many societies around the world. The advertisements for them are the number one source causing people to go out and buy them. Looking at all the factors of energy drinks that effect and individual’s health something needs to be done. This should be a major concern for both parents of children and teenagers as well as the society as a whole, while these individual affects may not seem that bad the combined effects and later effects are quite severe and should be taken more seriously. The effects of the ingredients in energy drinks can be detrimental on an individual’s health which can lead to various impacts on an individual’s family, work life and behaviour.

(Paragraph on Social, cultural and economic implications. Look at economic in regard to the bread winner being affected by specific problems, causing decreasing in incoming income. Cultural factors such as are they allowed to drink them, are they allowed to consume some of the ingredients. Social, behavioural changes and effects on relationships. Do more research on it). The effects are generally stronger or more prominent in males than in females, however it does not discrimante by class or race. Energy drinks have the same effects across all barriers except for gender due to the different hormones and different ways the body recats (Azagba, Langille & Asbridge, 2014). One of the major social (behavioural) implications of energy drinks is the changes in a persons behaviuour or attitude towards family and friends when the energy drink consumption becomes a daily occurrence. For example insomnia causes mood swings and spikes anger, thi causes people to have short tempers and snap easily at those closest to them which strains relationships.

Energy drinks contain B Vitamins, C Vitamins, Calcium and Magnesium, these ingredients are what tend to give you energy and can be obtained from either a healthy diet or vitamin supplements which are both much healthier than an energy drink and more beneficial too (Schneider & Benjamin, 2011). Another alternative could be fruits as fruits contain natural sugars that give energy to the body cells, this sugar is natural and not synthetic, so it is better for your body and does not cause an energy high and then an energy drop it maintains your energy at a constant level. The last alternative could be green tea. Green tea is a healthy natural tea that contains many of the same ingredients as energy drinks however it also regulates bodily functions and provides natural energy, green tea is something you can drink just like an energy drink so it is not as much of a switch as a vitamin supplement or fruit (Dulloo, Duret, Rohrer ,Girardier, Mensi, Fathi, Chantre & Vandermander, 1999). To ensure that everyone found out about the alternative I would advertise on television, social media and any other platform that people have frequent access to, I would also ensure that I used effective, catchy advertising techniques that will stand out to people and persuade them to buy the alternative. I would put up posters in stores as well as at schools and universities as those are the places where most people tend to drink energy drinks. If I could I would get someone influential to endorse the alternative product that way people would be more inclined to buy it. For the community I would advise them to try the alternative, I would also advise them to try lower their consumption of energy drinks (slowly weening themselves off it as it is an addiction and going completely cold turkey may lead to withdrawal symptoms), try and get them to drink water instead of energy drinks and also educate the community on the negative health effects of energy drinks so that they fully understand why they need to stop.

This essay has discussed the above two advertisements found on the internet and social media, it has also looked at the negative health impacts caused by energy drinks. As well as looking at the social, cultural and economic consequences that accompany energy drink usage. Healthier alternatives have also been suggested as well as how they would advertised.

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