What are the effects of an energy drink?

energy-drinksOnly too often have we seen major athletes taking an energy drink in between the break to try revitalise energy levels and give them an extra ‘kick’ to ensure performance doesn’t drop. The energy drinks market is a huge industry and increasingly many of the products aren’t even used for just sport hydration.

A typical energy drink can contain ‘specialist’ ingredients like ginseng, carnitine, creatine and guarana seed to provide perceived ‘energy increases’ or help supplement weight-loss. As such they’ve become popular items on sports fields and gyms, with many professional and amateur athletes relying on them as a source of hydration.

However, according to recent report as part of the Rugby World Cup, bwin Sport took a closer look at the research behind the typical energy drink and there were some surprising side-effects and insights that may have no idea about. Research recognised that energy drinks work to use caffeine to stimulate an instant energy boost, causing common side effects like increased heart rate, warmer skin, adrenaline levels to rise and release of dopamine into your blood stream. The effects after that are often forgotten with the initial energy boost quickly becoming more of a “jitter” and actually causing dehydration. Common side effects can include palpitations, tremors, agitation, gastrointestinal upset, dizziness, insomnia and even headaches.

Bwin’s Alternative Guide to the Rugby World Cup looked at how future technology like gumshield sensors could be used in sports like rugby to help teams/coaches track player hydration levels. As more sporting bodies invest heavily in sports science and nutrition, it has never been as important for sports to explore how technology can help athletes move away from short term solutions like energy drinks to longer term fitness plans based on data collected from items like gumshields or wristbands.

By Chris Taylor, Senior Campaign Executive at twentysix

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