Are Energy Drinks Bad for Your Liver?

Are Energy Drinks Bad for Your Liver? Energy drinks are an increasingly popular
beverage in the U.S., consumed by at least 17 percent of the population as of 2012, according
to the market researcher Packaged Facts. Marketed as products that boost mental and
physical performance, these drinks contain caffeine and sweeteners, along with ingredients
such as B-vitamins, amino acids and herbal stimulants. Because of the potential for excessive caffeine
or sugar intake, or the risks of combining these drinks with alcohol, the safety of these
drinks have been questioned, including their impact on liver function. Impact of Alcohol Energy drinks mixed with alcohol have become
more commonplace in bars and nightclubs. Combining alcohol — a depressant — with
a stimulant such as caffeine masks the symptoms of intoxication, which can encourage a person
to drink even more. Since the liver is the primary organ responsible
for breaking down alcohol, the liver is particularly vulnerable to health effects of this known
toxin. Initially, liver damage from alcohol or other
factors is noticed by blood tests such as elevated liver enzymes. Any progression to more severe liver damage
— including fatty liver and cirrhosis — is dependent on factors including the frequency
and duration of alcohol use. Impact of Sweeteners Energy drinks are either artificially sweetened
or contain a nutritive or calorie-containing sweetener such as glucose, sucrose or high
fructose corn syrup — in amounts similar to sweetened soda. Compared to other sugars, fructose is preferentially
handled by the liver, so this sweetener in particular has been linked to fatty liver
— an abnormal accumulation of fat that can progress to scarring and liver damage. However, all nutritive sweeteners appear to
be problematic when consumed in excess. Impact of Caffeine and Other Ingredients Most of the negative health effects of energy
drinks are blamed on the high caffeine intake, as a result of excessive consumption. In addition to traditional caffeine, ingredients
such as guarana, kola nut and yerbe mate also contain caffeine, and their presence may not
be included in the calculated caffeine content. While excessive caffeine can lead to symptoms
such as insomnia, increased heartbeat, restlessness and anxiety, caffeine is not known to negatively
impact the liver, according to a January 2016 review in “Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology.” Other common ingredients — ginseng, taurine,
carnitine and B-vitamins — are not known to cause liver problems. Less is known about the health impact of the
varying forms and concentrations of these ingredients and the combination of energy
drink components. Warnings and Precautions While limited or infrequent consumption of
energy drinks is unlikely to affect the liver, frequent and long-term consumption of sugar-sweetened
or alcoholic beverages may pose risks to liver health. If you are a healthy adult and plan to consume
energy drinks, limit your use and avoid them if they cause any unwanted symptoms. If you are a child or teenager, it’s best
to avoid these drinks unless your doctor specifically approves moderate use. Finally, if you have any medical problems,
get advice from your doctor before consuming these beverages. Visit the website. Click Below

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