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Do energy drinks affect one's physical and mental health?

Q: I am a coach for a high school football team and some of my students like to drink a lot of energy drinks. Could you give me some information on how do these energy drinks effect ones physical and mental health?

A:Energy drinks contain large doses of caffeine and other legal stimulants like guarana and ginseng. Energy drinks may contain as much as 80 mg of caffeine, the equivalent of a cup of coffee. Energy drinks stimulating properties can boost the heart rate and blood pressure (sometimes to the point of palpitations), dehydrate the body, and, like other stimulants, prevent sleep. Energy drinks should not be confused with sports drinks such as Gatorade, which are consumed to help people stay hydrated during exercise. Sports drinks also provide carbohydrates in the form of sugar and electrolytes that may be lost through perspiration. Energy drinks on the other hand should not be used while exercising as the combination of fluid loss from sweating and the diuretic quality of the caffeine can leave the user severely dehydrated.

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