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Are energy drinks safe?
In spite of the known dangers of energy drinks, the market for them is booming. In 2016, research from Mintel revealed that more energy drink products were launched globally in 2015 than in any year since 2008, with the number growing 29 percent between 2010 and 2015. In 2015, an incredible 8.8 billion liters were sold across the world, with the U.S. taking the largest slice of that market with volume sales of 3.3 billion liters. This is great news for energy drink manufacturers, but what are consumers really getting when they buy these drinks? We asked experts to reveal exactly what their ingredients do to our bodies. (By the way, here are a few ways you can boost energy naturally—without energy drinks.)
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Energy drinks can cause dehydration
The main source of energy in most energy products is caffeine. According to Caffeine Informer, Monster Energy, Rockstar Energy, and NOS Energy all have 160 mg of caffeine in a 16-ounce can. Red Bull has 80 mg of caffeine in an 8.4-ounce can. Caffeine has a diuretic effect, which means it increases urine production. In extreme cases, this can lead to dehydration. It can be particularly harmful in people who drink these products for the first time and don’t know to compensate with extra water, says nutritionist and author Beth Warren. The FDA’s official stance is that people shouldn’t consume more than 400 mg of caffeine per day, but food and drink manufacturers are not required by law to list the amount of caffeine their products contain. These are the drinks that contain the most caffeine.