Effect on heart rate: Comparing Energy Beverages to Sports Drinks


No Energy Beverages are banned in the USA, says an National Institute of Health literature search review entitled, “Energy Beverages: Content and Safety.  For this review the researchers searched databases from 1976 to study the effects of sports beverages that claimed an ability to aid performance, muscle growth and recovery.

The inventor of Gatorade, Dr. Robert Cade, a sports Professor at Gainsville, Florida, is credited as being the pioneer in the area of sports drinks that replenished electrolytes and carbohydrates.  The popularity and fame of his invention followed him around the world until he died at the age of 80 because he came up with a supplemented drink that helped the Gator football players deal with the sweltering heat of Gainsville, Florida. You may click here to read more about the inventor, Dr. Cade and his invention.

There was one problem with Professor Cade’s replenishing drink: it tasted like bodily fluids and the players tended to spit it out. You see, Professor Cade was researching the kidney in the medical division and noticing that players did not urinate enough during or after a game, he came up with a solution to keep the players healthy. His top priority was health and not taste. Soon college teams playing against the Gator team realized that their teams were losing in the sweltering heat because their players were not replenished by Professor Cade’s “bodily waste” drink. The international giant, Pepsico, bought the rights to the drink called “Gatorade” today and the royalties are keeping the inventor, his team and the University of Gainsville happy.

Gatorade replenished carbohydrates in the form of sugars sucrose and glucose and electrolytes in the form of sodium and potassium salts. Today, there are many kinds of sports and energy beverages that add far more than what is necessary for a healthy performing kidney. Infact, many might be unhealthy. Some are suspected to be deadly depending on the genes inherited by the consumer. Long term exposure to certain Energy Beverages may cause significant changes to the cardiovascular system. In other words, some sports drinks might be unhealthy for the heart when used regularly for a longer time.

If you are concerned and are asking the question, “Is this Energy Beverage or Sports Drink safe for me to consume daily when I exercise?” then, you might want to read the results summarized by NIH researchers by clicking here.. It might save your life. It might keep your heart and kidneys healthy.

Red Bull, a very highly caffeinated sports beverage was introduced in Austria in 1987 and then to USA in 1997.  Since then the Energy Beverage market has exploded.  Red Bull commanded 65% share of the 650 million dollar market in 2005 but now has many competitors.  The USA is the largest consumer of Energy Beverages.  11 to 35 years olds are most likely to be consumers of Energy Beverages.  The regulations in the USA are very lax in banning such replenished beverages.  This research article shows alarmingly drinking such beverages is associated with risky behavior lifestyles. The review offers recommendations specific to populations and groups since genetics and age are factors to be considered, as Professor Cade had discovered in his pioneering, replenishing drink.

In the memory of this kidney researcher whose goal was to keep players safe in sweltering heat, let’s continue to keep the drinks safe and the users healthy and alive.

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