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Energy drinks: Dangerous or helpful?

Energy drinks are known to serve many purposes, such as pick-me-ups and as ways of boosting concentration and performance. But very few people are aware of the risks that come along. Learn more about the harmful consequences that children and young people face from excessive consumption of such products.

A study by the Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Other Addictions (ISPA) has shown that 7.8% of boys and 4.3% of girls consume an energy drink at least once a day. These drinks are very popular because advertisements are especially designed to appeal to children and young people, and the bitter taste of caffeine, which many don't like, is covered up by sugar and artificial sweeteners.

A trendy drink with consequences
Consuming energy drinks is not entirely harmless in that the popular ones, as well as the cheap versions of retailers, contain large quantities of caffeine, sugar and acid. According the World Health Organisation, regular intake of these drinks can lead to nervousness, restlessness, shaking, sleeplessness, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and nausea. Furthermore, the high sugar content has a negative effect on the body's ability to regulate energy because the drinks have a lot of calories but fail to satisfy hunger, which can lead to overweight and obesity. But the high level of acids, too, has a harmful effect on the body, because saliva is unable to neutralise it, and it may thus damage the teeth.

Tips

  • Energy drinks are unsuitable as a means of quenching thirst and for daily consumption – water, diluted juices, unsweetened herb or fruit teas are healthier options.
  • A balanced diet and sufficient sleep are better choices when it comes to combating tiredness and low-energy phases. While foods and drinks with lots of sugar may provide temporary energy boots, they generally also result in a new low-point afterwards. We recommend that you pay attention to a wholesome breakfast and eat regular meals.

Contribution to your health
SWICA supports insured persons with a COMPLETA PRAEVENTA or OPTIMA plan by providing nutritional analyses and advice from recognised advisors and dietary assistants and by offering courses on a conscious and healthful diet. We look forward to giving you no-obligation advice on our free helpline 0800 80 90 80.

23.09.2015

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