Energy drinks resting in a pool of ice

Avoiding the energy drink trap

Staying alert at all hours of the night is part of our job. We need to think on our feet, respond quickly and make decisions – all within stressful moments.

We do whatever we can just to keep our eyes peeled, but we often need support. A lot of us turn to caffeine, energy drinks and dietary supplements. But, while popular, they certainly aren’t the best choice.

Energy drinks do help in mental performance & reduce stress

But… there’s always a but.

While there are benefits, they are only short-term. A study in the Medical Journal of Australia documents a sharp increase in seriously adverse effects.

People have been hospitalised with heart palpitations, respiratory distress, agitation, tremors and convulsions. Add alcohol in the mix, misusing energy drinks can be deadly – with a number of fatalities reported around the world.

The drinks are loaded with caffeine, a psychoactive drug that stimulates the central nervous system and is chemically addictive. Consuming more than 400 mg of caffeine a day – a level that’s not hard to reach – can lead to symptoms of dizziness, increased thirst and diarrhoea…. not exactly what you need while you’re on the job.

While there’s also been extensive research about caffeine, energy drinks haven’t been around for long. However, similar concerns remain about these drinks and dietary supplements containing substances not listed as ingredients.

The scary part is, you don’t know what you’re consuming. You could be breaking the law yourself, by inadvertently taking illegal stimulants.

Do yourself a favour and ditch the drink – especially if you have high blood pressure or you like a casual drink or two. It’s simply not worth it. That’s not even touching on the impact caffeine has on your sleep.

So, remember, go naturale. Eat well, exercise and incorporate positive mental health strategies into your day.