Monday, 3 December 2012



Is Your Energy Drink Turning You Into a Woman?

mfHere’s a short quiz for all the male energy drink addicts out there.
  1. Have you noticed the growth of man boobs since drinking energy drinks?
  2. Has your  shaving strangely cut down to once a month?
  3. Can you sing along with Michael when you hear song “Billy Jean”?
  4. Do you cry for no reason and then the next minute giggle like a school girl?
  5. Have you experienced unexplained shrinkage?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, your beloved Energy Drinks could be turning you into a woman. Now don’t get me wrong, women are great and all, but most guys don’t want to become one, right?
Well it appears Energy Drinks are testing positive for  the chemical, Bisphenol A, which mimics the hormone estrogen. This chemical is often used to line the inside of cans and new testing performed  in Canada showed alarming levels of this chemical in the drinks themselves.
This chemical is known to cause birth defects, but it is unclear if it really causes damage in adults. However, it’s something to be aware of and guys if you have any of the above symptoms you may want to have your hormone levels checked!
Energy Drinks like Red Bull Harmful for Health

Energy Drinks
Energy Drinks
According to a study, reported in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, whose abstract is listed below, suggests that Energy Drinks are taken by the “weakened warriors” and “by those seeking an edge in an endurance event” are harmful to health. These energy drinks contain excess amount of sugar and caffeine and can make the user dehydrated.
Researchers from the University of Texas Medical School, Houston also warned that users who mixed drinks with alcohol also faced increased heart rates and blood pressure and mental problems.
Energy drinks are soft drinks advertised as boosting energy. These drinks usually do not emphasize that the energy is derived from the sugars that the drink contains, but rather through a choice of stimulants, vitamins, and herbal supplements the manufacturer has combined.
Generally, energy drinks include methylxanthines(including caffeine), vitamin B and herbs. Other common ingredients are guarna, acai, and taurine, plus various forms of ginseng, maltodextrin, carbonated water, inositol, carnitine, creatinine, glucuronolactone and gingo biloba. Some contain high levels of sugar, and many brands also offer artificially-sweetened ‘diet’ versions. The central ingredient in most energy drinks is caffiene, the same stimulant found in coffee or tea, often in the form of guarana or yerba mate.

Countries including Norway, Denmark and France have banned Red Bull after one study showed rats that “were fed taurine and exhibited bizarre behaviour, including anxiety and self-mutilation”.

Exercise is making a resurgence in many countries, given its benefits for fitness as well as prevention of obesity. This trend has spawned many supplements that purport to aid performance, muscle growth, and recovery. Initially, sports drinks were developed to provide electrolyte and carbohydrate replacement. Subsequently, energy beverages (EBs) containing stimulants and additives have appeared in most gyms and grocery stores and are being used increasingly by “weekend warriors” and those seeking an edge in an endurance event. Long-term exposure to the various components of EBs may result in significant alterations in the cardiovascular system, and the safety of EBs has not been fully established. For this review, we searched the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases from 1976 through May 2010, using the following keywords: energy beverage, energy drink, power drink, exercise, caffeine, red bull, bitter orange, glucose, ginseng, guarana, and taurine. Evidence regarding the effects of EBs is summarized, and practical recommendations are made to help in answering the patient who asks, “Is it safe for me to drink an energy beverage when I exercise?”
The researchers reviewed medical literature on energy drinks and their ingredients between 1976 and 2010.
They found that the caffeine content of energy drinks ranged from 70 to 200 mg per 16-oz serving. By comparison, an 8-oz cup of coffee could contain between 40 to 150 mg of caffeine.
Dr Higgins, the lead researcher, said that by not publishing ingredients added to the problem.
“Manufacturers can put whatever in them, advertise however and people consume however. Whenever you have a situation like this, you are going to run into problems,” he said.
Non-athletes should drink no more than one a day, never mix them with alcohol, and drink lots of water after exercising.
People with hypertension should never drink them, and people with health conditions such as heart disease should consult their doctors before using the drinks, he said.

SEE ALSO Energy drink caffeine levels often stray from labels

NEWS FOX Published October 25, 2012

Energy drinks do not always divulge how much caffeine they contain, and when an amount is listed on a label, it is not always accurate, Consumer Reports magazine has found.

According to a study released on Thursday by the magazine, 11 of the 27 top-selling energy drinks in the United States do not specify the amount of caffeine in their beverages.

Of the 16 drinks that did list a specific caffeine amount, five had more caffeine per serving than was listed and the average amount over was more than 20 percent.

The study comes fast on the heels of news that U.S. health regulators are investigating reports of five deaths that may be associated with Monster Beverage Corp's Monster Energy drink.

At the same time Monster, maker of the top-selling energy drink in the United States, is being sued by the family of a 14-year-old girl with a heart condition who died after drinking two Monster Energy drinks in a 24-hour period.

The lawsuit and reports of other deaths could escalate calls from critics including two U.S. senators and the New York attorney general about the safety of the beverages and the way they are marketed.

Caffeine level not required

Aside from companies not wanting to give away their secret recipes, Consumer Reports said there was another reason why some beverage labels do not reveal exact caffeine levels.

"There is no legal or commercial business requirement to do so," a Monster Beverage official told Consumer Reports. "And because our products are completely safe, and the actual numbers are not meaningful to most consumers."

Caffeine levels in the drinks tested ranged from about 6 milligrams per serving for 5-Hour Energy Decaf, made by Living Essentials, to 242 milligrams for 5-Hour Energy Extra Strength, the report found.

The drinks that Consumer Reports found that contained more caffeine than was listed on their labels included Arizona Energy, Clif Shot Turbo Energy Gel and Sambazon Organic Amazon Energy, as well as Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc's Venom Energy and Nestle Jamba, sold by a partnership of Nestle and Jamba Inc.

One sample of its Archer Farms Energy Drink Juice Infused beverage had about 70 percent less caffeine than advertised, the report found. Archer Farms is the private label of retailer Target Corp.

None of the companies were immediately available to comment.


Are Energy Drinks Like Red Bull Good For You?    Posted by on November 10, 2012

We live in a world where it isn’t unusual to be running on just a few hours of sleep. This is because there are many demands put upon our daily lives. For example, you may have to work a 12-hour shift at work, spend another few hours in class and then come home to a screaming baby that won’t go to sleep. In that case, an energy drink may provide a much needed boost. However, is it safe for you?
The Key Is Always Moderation
Drinking a single energy drink is not going to hurt you. In fact, if you drink them in moderation, it isn’t much worse than drinking a daily cup of coffee. In both cases, you are getting an increased dose of caffeine that will help wake you up and get you going for the day.
However, you should try not to drink more than one or two a day at the very most. There is a lot of sugar and other chemicals that are put in the drinks to give you that energy boost. A single 12 ounce can of a typical energy drink has more sugar and caffeine than even the sugariest soda.
Drinking too many energy drinks can leave you jittery, hyperactive, and unable to sleep at night. Once the drink wears off, you are going to feel more lethargic than you did before. This means that you will have no choice but to grab another energy drink.
Never Mix Energy Drinks With Alcohol
In recent years, it has become popular to mix energy drinks with alcohol. While this creates the impression that you are more awake and less drunk, the truth is that it is just masking the impact of the drinks that you are consuming. Drinks such as Four Loko that were sold with alcohol in them have been banned in some states.
There is no way to lessen the impact that an alcoholic drink has on your body. Once it is in your system, the only way it leaves is by giving it time. Mixing a Red Bull with your drink is not going to help you drive home. In fact, it can actually make things worse for you.
If you don’t think that you are as drunk as you are, you will be tempted to drink even more. This can lead to alcohol poisoning and other negative consequences that are associated with excessive drinking. You could get into a car crash, say something you regret, or do something even worse.
Avoid Energy Drinks If You Have Heart Issues
When you drink something with sugar in it, your body gets a bolt of adrenaline. You are jolted awake and your nervous system starts working harder. This will ultimately put more stress on your heart to keep pumping blood to your body.
Most healthy people can handle pretty large doses of caffeine in their systems. However, doctors warn that those with health problems can see negative health effects from drinking too many energy drinks. In a worst case scenario, you could even die from drinking a single energy drink.
Again, healthy people will not die from consuming an energy drink. But, if you have any health issues at all, consult your doctor before drinking any sort of energy drink. You could be putting yourself in a world of danger that you don’t even know about.
Teenagers Should Stay Away From These Drinks
Teenagers should be highly discouraged from drinking energy drinks. The biggest reason is that teenagers need more sleep than other age groups. Energy drinks are a great way to lose sleep at night. This means that an average teenager could be grouchy, irritable and unable to perform well in school.
There may also be concentration issues during class. It is hard to sit still during a movie or lecture when you are shaking because you have ingested so much sugar. This can lead to discipline issues that could lead to other consequences in the future.
Teenagers are still developing physically. They don’t have mature immune systems and other body structures that can handle the extra sugar. While an adult can handle several energy drinks in a day, a teenager may not be able to. Parents should monitor what their children are drinking on a daily basis to make sure that they are safe. It should be noted that childhood obesity is caused partially by ingesting too much sugar.
A healthy adult will certainly be able to drink an energy drink without too many issues. However, teenagers and those with health issues should stay away from them at all costs. Keep in mind that healthy adults will still suffer from issues such as obesity, tooth issues due to the sugar as well as possible hyperactivity. Therefore, these drinks should be consumed in moderation and without any alcohol added. As with anything else, you have to be responsible for what you put in your body.

The Side Effects of a LiftOFF HERBALIFE Energy Drink
Jun 30, 2011 | By Tomas Linnaeus 

Energy drinks have exploded in popularity during the past 10 years. Most of these products include a proprietary blend of ingredients. Some drinks come in a beverage can, whereas others such as Liftoff come in a tablet form. According to the Herbalife website, Liftoff contains substances known to enhance mental performance and boost energy. While often effective, these ingredients can cause allergic reactions in some people. Speak with a licensed physician before consuming a large quantity of energy drinks.
Most energy drinks contain caffeine -- a substance known to increase performance and alertness. Ingesting this stimulant provides benefits to athletes in both individual and team sports, according to a December 2010 review in "Sports Medicine." Yet, caffeine can also cause side effects. An article published in the 2011 volume of the "Polish Heart Journal" describes some of these effects. Large doses can elevate blood pressure and cholesterol count. Pregnant women should also avoid the stimulant. It can have adverse effects on the growth and heart of the fetus.
The Paullinia cupana plant -- better known as guarana -- remains popular despite safety concerns. Guarana has a protective effect on your body as habitual users appear less likely to develop diabetic symptoms, according to a February 2011 report in "Phytotherapy Research." Many over-the-counter supplements adversely affect the kidneys. A case report presented in the March 2007 issue of "Orvosi Hetilap" suggests that long-term use of guarana leads to organ damage. Years of supplementation caused kidney failure in a 30-year-old female patient. This damage disappeared when the women stopped taking guarana.

Ginseng can slow the aging process and improve thinking, according to a December 2009 review in the "Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine." These benefits may come at a price as ginseng can also cause allergic reactions. A clinical trial described in the July 2004 edition of the "Annals of Medicine" discovered a potential drug interaction associated with ginseng use. Participants taking warfarin, a blood-thinning drug, also received ginseng for three weeks. Relative to baseline, ginseng significantly reduced the effectiveness of warfarin. This change could prove fatal in some cases.
Beverage makers often add the organic acid taurine to their energy drinks. This substance reduces fatigue and enhances performance, according to a February 2004 article in "Amino Acids." Taurine also helps the body process sugar. A study published in the 2011 volume of "Biomedical Research" showed that its antioxidant effects protect the body from diabetic damage. Yet, these beneficial effects can cause problems as well. A February 2002 report in "Platelets" indicates that taurine reduces blood coagulation by about 10 percent. This change could prevent wound healing in susceptible people.
The Ginkgo biloba tree provided traditional societies several medicines. Modern researchers have obtained documentation for some of these alleged effects. Ginkgo improves symptoms of dementia, according to a 2011 paper in "Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment." It might also relieve ear ringing in patients with hearing loss. Effective in the short-term, the long-term safety of ginkgo remains unknown. A review published in the January 2008 issue of the "Journal of Food Science" described several possible side effects of ginkgo. Most reactions are mild, but some can be severe. Doctors, for example, have observed near fatal cases of internal bleeding following extended ginkgo use.


Article reviewed by Tina Boyle Last updated on: Jun 30, 2011 

Side Effects of Herbal Life Products

Jul 20, 2010 | By Brian Willett

Herbal Life is a company that produces a wide range of nutrition products, from vitamin supplements and diet pills to protein snacks and digestive health supplements. While these supplements may be beneficial to your health, you should research the ingredients in each supplement to avoid possible side effects. Even if a product has positive reviews, your results may vary. Consult your doctor before using any Herbal Life supplements to discuss their safety and efficacy.

Hypotension: Cell-U-Loss
Cell-U-Loss is a supplement marketed by Herbal Life to help you decrease bodily fluid retention. This product contains a number of ingredients, most of them herbs. One herb in the Cell-U-Loss formula is hydrangea, which may cause hypotension, or low blood pressure, according to the Silberg Center for Dental Science. Hypotension is a condition that may cause fainting, shock and dizziness. The Silberg Center notes that hydrangea may be especially dangerous when used in conjunction with high blood pressure medication.

Cancer Risk: Total Control

Total Control is a weight management supplement that is intended to increase your metabolism, increase your energy levels, and promote healthy weight loss. Total Control is similar to many other weight loss supplements because it contains stimulants such as caffeine and yerba mate. According to Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., yerba mate may promote weight loss, but it also has a number of side effects--including increased cancer risk. According to Zeratsky, regular intake of yerba mate may increase your risk of cancers such as those of the lungs, mouth and esophagus. Zeratsky does note that the risk is probably small, however.

Difficulty Sleeping: LiftOff

LiftOff is an energy supplement produced by Herbal Life. This product comes in the form of a tablet that dissolves in water. LiftOff contains a number of stimulants to increase energy, but these ingredients may also cause side effects, including difficulty sleeping, or insomnia. Herbal Life LiftOff contains caffeine, a common stimulant that may cause sleeping problems, according to the University of Maryland Medical Clinic. In addition, LiftOff contains guarana, which the website explains may cause anxiety, nervousness and trouble sleeping. Due to these side effects, you should not take LiftOff within several hours of bed time.


    The Silberg Center for Dental Science: Herbal Medications
    Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.: Yerba Mate: Is It Safe To Drink?
    University of Maryland Medical Center: Caffeine In The Diet Guarana Side Effects

Article reviewed by GlennK Last updated on: Jul 20, 2010

Guarana tea is made from the berries of the guarana plant, a bush native to the Amazon river basin. Indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest have used guarana as an herbal medicine to treat many ailments, including headache. Like any health supplement, consult your doctor before taking guarana.
Guarana may be an effective short-term treatment for headaches, according to the University of Colorado Denver College of Pharmacy. However, guarana is not recommended for treatment of chronic headache, and should not be taken for more than seven days in a row, in order to reduce the risk of side effects such as nausea, anxiety, irritability and increased heart rate.

Guarana tea is often made by dissolving powered guarana berries in hot water. For optimal results, combine a half to 1 tsp. of powdered guarana with 8 oz. of hot water, recommends Alternatively, purified guarana supplements can be taken, at a dose of 200 to 800 mg, reports A Nurse's Guide to Herbal Remedies.
Active Ingredient 

The likely active ingredient in guarana tea responsible for the effect on headache is caffeine, explains the New York University Langone Medical Center. Although other related stimulants, including theobromine and theophylline, may also play a role. Caffeine is often an effective treatment for headaches for people who do not regularly consume caffeine, according to an article published in the May 2007 issue of the medical journal "Neurological Sciences."
Too Much Caffeine 

While occasional consumption of caffeine, in guarana tea or other forms, may be beneficial for headaches, frequent consumption of guarana tea may actual result in more headaches, warns the article in "Neurological Sciences." Long-term consumption of caffeine can lead to physical dependence, which causes withdrawal in the absence of caffeine. One of the common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal is headache, sometimes chronic headaches.
Article reviewed by Tina Boyle Last updated on: Sep 1, 2011  | By Matthew Busse


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