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Energy Drinks

There are all kinds of drinks claiming their promise of higher energy levels. Below is a list of the types of drinks on the market and what it is, exactly, that you are taking.

Caffeine
The alert feeling you get in mose energy drinks is merely a 'caffeine hit'. And a big one at that, with some drinks containingup to 80 milligrams (329mg per liter) of caffeine, which is much stronger than any soft drink. Equal to strong coffee. High levels of caffeine have a dehydrating effect, which means you should not drink when exercising. In addition, caffeine is addictive and can cause insomnia and anxiety.

Guarana
Guarana is made from the crushed seeds of a native Brazillian plant. Although most people are unware of this, its active ingredient is caffeine -- one gram of guarana contains about as much caffeine as a medium-strength cup of coffee (about 60mg).

Taurine
Taurine is an amino acid, but it is not essential to humans. There is no evidence to suggest that taurine is a source of energy.

Ginseng Extract
In substantial amounts, ginsend can have advesrse effects on blood pressure, but the small amounts present in energy drinks are not cause for concern.

GIngko Bilboa
Gingko is reputed to improve brain function and a study published in the British Medical Journal showed that it may have some mild effects on memory. Small doses of gingko aren't harmful.

Glucoronolactone
Glucoronolactone is a human metabolite formed from glucose and in small doeses is unlikely to cause any harm. However, according to the European Commission's 1999 food safety report,, the dose present in some of these drinks is up to twice the amount we'd normally get from our diet. There is little information available on the effects of glucoronolactate at this level.

 
 
   
 
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