Monster energy drink belongs to liquid products that have caffeine, with or without other supplements that enhance an individual's diet. Dr. Enuf was the first person to launch the first United States' energy drink in 1949. 1987, Europe began its first energy drink and expanded its international market. Since then, the market share of energy drinks has grown drastically, with brands like Monster energy become popular. The yearly consumption of Monster energy drink in 2013 was more than 5.8 billion liters in 160 nations. The estimated market values of Monster drink in the United States retail market was about 12.5 billion in 2012 (Ali 309). Manufacturers of Monster energy drink have shifted their target market from athletes to young individuals. Monster energy drink is sold in regions that have high populations of young adults and teens. About two-thirds of Monster energy drinks are consumers aged between 13-35 years old, with the majority being boys. Monster energy drink is the second most popular dietary supplement that young individuals use, with almost 30% consuming it regularly. Monster energy drink is made to offer an energy boost to an individual taking it by a mixture of energy booster and stimulants. The main constituent of this energy drink is caffeine. Monster energy drink contains 16 mg of caffeine in every eight ounces, which is the same as two 12-ounce containers of caffeinated soda or five ounces of coffee (Ali 310). Currently, there have been raising concerns about the safety of Monster energy drink. Despite these rising concerns, its manufacturers claim that the product is suitable for their customers and are safe. Therefore, consumers need to know more about Monster energy drink and how it affects their bodies.
Effects of Monster Energy Drink on Human Body
Consuming Monster energy drink can cause body dehydration. The main source of energy in Monster energy drink is caffeine. According to Caffeine Informer, Monster Energy contains 160 mg of caffeine in every 16-ounce can. Caffeine causes a diuretic effect in the body, which implies that the production of urine increases. In extreme situations, this can result in dehydration. This can be specifically dangerous to individuals that consume Monster energy drink for the first time and do not know the right way to compensate for the loss by taking a lot of water. The FDA proposes that consumers should not take more than 400 mg of caffeine daily, but drink and food manufacturers are not needed by the law to provide information concerning the content of caffeine in their products which leads to unplanned signs of dehydration.
Monster energy drink can increase heart rate. The diuretic effect caused by caffeine also poses a heart rate risk to the person consuming it. Sanchis-Gomar et al., (2015) carried out a study on the incidences of cardiac situations in adolescents after they consumed energy drink. They established that the abuse of energy drinks among teenagers caused a higher risk of cardiac events, particularly in those that have chances of encountering heart conditions (Sanchis-Gomar 575). In some cases, the energy drinks changed the normal heart rhythm in teenagers with healthy heart conditions. The risk of heart rate increase occurs when a child becomes active in the exercise of sports. In some situations, the high caffeine content in the energy drinks can trigger unknown heart conditions as it was the case of a seventeen-year-old boy who presented himself to the emergency department with a quick onset of palpitations after consuming a large quantity of the energy drink at their school gym.
Frequent consumption of Monster energy drink can damage teeth. One of the ingredients of Monster energy drink is citric acid, which is very corrosive to teeth. Jain et al. (2012) conducted a research to compare sports drinks and energy drinks and established that energy drinks have greater acidity and capability of dissolving enamel than a sports drink. The enamel can be lost when it is exposed to energy drinks including Monster energy was more than two times when exposed to sports drinks. The collision of sugar and citric acid can cause a perfect storm to the demineralization or decay of the tooth enamel. Once a person loses his/her enamel, it will never grow again. What happens after the loss of enamel is the formation of thinner and sensitive enamel that will be yellow and attracts more stains. What should make people more concerned with Monster energy drink is that it does not have the precise quantity of citric acid on the label. Thus consumers do not know the amount of the acid they take.
Monster energy drink drinks do not provide its consumers with energy because their major ingredients, taurine, glucuronolactone, and L-carnitine have no genuine energy. L-carnitine and taurine are amino acids used in the metabolism of energy and are naturally available in organ tissue and muscle. These acids are used in Monster energy drinks but offer little in boosting energy. Monster energy manufacturers argue that glucuronolactone increases energy levels in a person's body due to its required impact on the metabolism of energy, but it has no effect on the energy levels. The perceived energy boost of Monster energy comes from the sugar because of glucose content, which is the primary energy source, but it lasts for a short time before a crash happens. The adverse effects of sugar content in Monster energy drinks continues. Monster energy has almost 13 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than the double of the amount recommended by the World Health Organization. The organization recommends that a person should take no more than six teaspoons of sugar daily. Over a long time, the contiguous consumption of sugar can lead to insulin resistance and obesity. Studies continue to prove that energy products can result in high blood pressure and health conditions. In the end, [people should know that consuming energy drinks has nothing to do with their body weights but rather cause harm to their bodies.
Monster energy can cause mood swings and headaches. Guarana, which is a common ingredient of Monster energy drink, is not good for a person's health. Guaran is high in caffeine more than a serving spoon. This ingredient stimulates the human body's central nervous system. When the central nervous system is stimulated, a feeling of mental clarity and energy boost is created, which can reduce a person's appetite. Also, it can cause the side effects of energy drink like nervousness, mood swings, headaches, and insomnia. When Monster energy drink is combined with prescription medication, it can cause side effects from digestive and cardiac issues to decision-making and impairment of judgment. The danger of guarana is that it is not mentioned on the Monster energy drink list of ingredients as an additional source of caffeine. Some teens have been hospitalized because of taking an overdose of caffeine.
Heavy consumption of Monster energy drink can cause liver issues. Harb et al., (2016) conducted a case study on a previously healthy man 50 years old with anorexia, malaise, nausea, abdominal pain, dark urine, vomiting, scleral icterus, and generalized jaundice. The man was not on prescription or any other medications but was drinking 4-5 energy drinks every day for about three weeks before his presentation (Harb 6). When the physical examination was conducted, it revealed abdominal tenderness and jaundice. Laboratory examinations showed the existence of transaminitis and chronic hepatitis C infection. An ultrasound scan was performed and showed a diffuse gallbladder wall and echogenic liver thickening. The patient was treated in support with his complete resolution and showed betterment in his laboratory abnormalities. Acute hepatitis was likely caused by the patient's excessive consumption of energy drink. Therefore, Monster energy drink and over-the-counter supplements should be monitored by clinicians in the fight against acute hepatitis. While drinking modest quantities of Monster energy drinks can be relatively advised, prolonged consumption over a long period has been connected with the damage of the liver.
Monster energy drink can harm a person's heart in a manner that caffeine itself cannot. Fletcher et al., (2017) conducted a study to investigate the impact of the soft drinks on the health of the heart after realizing the deaths caused by energy drinks and the rise in consumption of the drinks by the military team. The researchers split a group of 18 participants into two, gave one group 32 ounces of commercial energy drink while the other group was assigned a drink having the same caffeine content in addition to carbonated water, lime juice and cherry syrup (Fletcher 3). It was established that people who consumed energy drinks experienced a significant increase in QT (the time taken by the ventricles to beat again) by ten milliseconds that those who took caffeinated control drinks. Irregularities in QT intervals can cause arrhythmia or abnormal heartbeats. Some medications that reduce the QT interval caused by energy drinks by only six milliseconds have warning labels. Also, people who drink energy drinks increase their blood pressure by more than five points after taking the beverage and may be in mildly elevated levels six hours after consumption. This suggests that other soft drinks ingredients apart from caffeine may have some effects on blood pressure.
Niacin (B3) that is found in Monster energy drink causes flushing of the skin. Intake of more than 3000mg of B3 can result in liver toxicity (Clauson 55). The British Journal of Medicine had published a case study concerning a person who consumed five energy drinks for three weeks. This caused the level of niacin to increase in his body, resulting in nonviral hepatitis. Monster energy drink supplies 200% of RDA of B3 (Clauson 55). A person who consumes more than 100 mg of B6 risks causing sensory nerve issues or skin lesions.
Consumption of Monster energy leaves a person feeling fatigued and tired. When a person consumes Monster energy, he/she will feel somehow energetic for an hour because of sugar but will feel a drastic drop in the absorption of energy theatre (Nelson 2). The intense sweetness of Monster energy drink makes blood sugar level to rise, which causes the pancreas to release insulin. Once the sugar level in the blood has reduced, a person starts to crave for more. This is a point that makes people look for more sugary foodstuffs or more Monster energy drink to feel much better, thus repeating the cycle. It takes like ten to forty-five minutes from the first sip for caffeine to begin getting absorbed, which causes blood pressure and heart rate to rise gradually. Even though the sugar is absorbed an hour from the time a person consumes Monster energy drink, the caffeine will still have an effect on the body. Caffeine can remain in a person's blood for about 12 hours after consumption depending on what they eat, their weight and individual body composition.
Consumption of Monster energy for a long period of time can cause caffeine overdoses leading to a variety of symptoms like high blood pressure, vomiting, palpitations, and even death. Also, taking Monster energy drink increases a person's risk to getting type 2 diabetes, low birth weight, late miscarriages and stillbirths in expectant women and cardiovascular and neurological effects in adolescents and children (Howard 553). Energy drinks can make a person to develop attention-seeking behavior, poor dental formation, and obesity.
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