Energy drinks effect.

Complete 2 pages APA formatted article: Energy drinks effect. Water is the most efficient hydrant. Water is considered the best hydrant for activities lasting less than an hour. Water helps in the transportationof nutrients and elimination of waste materials especially the nitrogenous wastes. Because of this function water is a very important element in maintaining the health of the kidneys. It helps in the process of swallowing and helps in the process of digestion. Water lubricates the tissues and joints and regulates temperature through sweating. Water is the main component that keeps the volume of the blood in the body.

The main loss of water from the body is due to perspiration According to various studies if one loses water up to two or more percent of ones body weight (water makes 60% of the body weight) due to sweating (If a man/woman weigh 50 Kilograms and if s/he loses one liter sweat), that will lead to a drop in blood volume. This will force the heart to work harder to pump the blood through the arteries. This is the extreme situation of dehydration. This leads to muscle cramps. The functioning of the brain heavily depends on water. Thus dehydration affects the brain leading to fatigue and dizziness. If not re-hydrated immediately this situation may even lead to heat illnesses like Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion. In addition to excessive sweating, other causes of dehydration are inadequate fluid intake, failure to replace fluid losses during and after the exercises, working out in dry hot weather, in the open, and drinking only when one is thirsty.

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There was a time when water was the only or one of the few sources of hydration. But water as a hydrant was found to have a lot of limitations. The major draw back of water as a hydrant is that it doesn’t replace the salts or electrolytes lost during perspiration. Water easily quenches thirst even before the body gets re-hydrated. Only few people like the taste of the water. most find the taste relatively bland. More over, drinking too much water can, though rarely, cause hyponatremia or water intoxication. It was these limitations of water as a hydrant that forced researchers to develop energy drinks especially for sports. Energy drinks or Sports drinks with their typical sweet-tart taste combination don’t quench thirst. So one is likely to drink larger volumes of energy/ sports drinks, compared to water which helps to maintain a better level of hydration.

POSITIVE EFFECTS: Electrolytes or salts and Carbohydrates are the major components of an energy drink or sports drink. Protein is another component recommended recently. The electrolytes are mainly essential minerals. The sweat that evaporates out of the body usually carry electrolytes like Sodium, Potassium which are positively charged and Chloride and Phosphate which are negatively charged, along with others like Bicarbonates. Their major function in the body fluid is to help the osmotic flow. They help the kidney function too with their colligate property of retaining the essential and removing the unessential.

Carbohydrates are stored in liver as well as in the muscles as glucose (glycogen). Glucose is considered to be the best source of energy because only minimum amount of oxygen is needed to burn it out. Protein or fats need more oxygen to burn out. A man weighing 70kg will have carbohydrate storage, of 90gms glycogen in the liver 400gms of glycogen in the muscles. For a female it will be 70gms in the liver and 300gms in the muscles. When one is taking hard exercise there is a fast burning out of the carbohydrate at the rate of 3 to 4 grams per minute. At that rate if the exercise lasts for two hours, complete reserve of carbohydrate in the body will get burned out. “when mild exercise is performed there is a tendency to burn relatively more fat and less glucose, but as the exercise becomes more intense, a higher fraction of the energy demands of the muscles are supplied by glucose, until at the highest intensities almost only carbohydrates are used”, according to a paper published in The Journal of Physiology and quoted by Medical News Today (June 21 2007). It will take another 24 to 48 hours of rest to regain the burned out amount of carbohydrates in the body. As the carbohydrate goes on burning out, the performance of the body will go down to a reduced level. To sustain the exercise, the muscles take glucose from the blood and to prevent the falling of blood glucose level liver gives out glucose to the blood. Thus the total glucose level of the body gets upset. So it is necessary for an athlete to take carbohydrate before during and after the exercises. As the athletes cannot take food during the exercise and as water alone cannot manage these biochemical changes happening in the body, a formulated drink becomes essential. That is where the energy drinks or sports drinks play their Positive role.

THE ADVERSE EFFECTS : Like all synthetic products, energy drinks also have negative effects on the human body. To reduce the total after-taste and to increase the pleasantness of after- taste, an acidulated system is provided in energy /sports drinks. The acidulated system is composed of citric and phosphoric acid in specific relative amounts. As these acids especially the citric acid pass through the mouth, they wash over the teeth. Some people have the habit of retaining the drink in the mouth for a while before gulping it in. The acidic nature of these drinks has a dramatic affect on the teeth. The protective coat over the teeth, called the enamel will get corroded. These acids also cause many a cavities in the teeth. These bad effects are emphatically pointed out by experts like Dr A Milosevic. (Dental health and the serious athlete. Good Dietary Practice. Vol. 9: Issue 2).As the energy drink or sports drink goes down the digestive system, they not only corrode things all the way down but also throw off the delicate acid/ base relationship of the body. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research had reported the findings of research on the effect of isotonic energy drinks on rats. The finding is that Urolithiasis (formation of stones in the urinary tract) or Nephrolithiasis (formation of the stones in the kidney) is commonly possible when some energy drinks are continuously used. (BJMBR – (2005)38:577-582)

Whether to go for water or energy drinks is question to which not a very clear answer can be given. The answer vary from person to person because personal factors like sweat rates and hydration level of the individual extra personal factors like altitude, temperature, duration and intensity of the exercise influence these answers..

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Sources cited:

1) Medical News Today (June 21 2007 )

2) Milosevic Dr A. Dental health and the serious athlete. Good Dietary Practice. Vol.

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