An energy drink is a kind of beverage that contains different forms of stimulant mainly caffeine and other substances such as vitamins and carbohydrates. Also uarana extract, taurine, ginseng and additional amino acids complete the list of ingredients of energy drinks. Energy drinks are energy boosters meant to improve the performance, concentration and capacity of the consumer for a brief period of time.
Consumption of energy drinks is common in western countries but now they are getting popular in Asian countries like Pakistan too. Caffeinated energy drinks, with names like Red Bull, Sting and Booster etc have gained popularity among youngsters in the past decade. Students and people in professions believes that there is no harm in taking these drinks as they are just natural energy boosters having exotic ingredients that keep them alert and active. They are wrong because health researchers have identified risky behavior of such energy drinks among teenagers and young adults. According to them large amounts of caffeine in these energy boosters targets the central nervous system causing dehydration and loss of nutrients that have a calming effect on the nervous system. As a result nausea, abnormal heart rhythms, agitation and sleep problems are reported. A recent research reveals that drinking enough bottles of energy drinks may cause caffeine addiction.
Marketing of these drinks through TV commercials and large hoardings with cool logo colors, modern can or bottle shapes catch the attraction of teenagers. Consumption of these beverages has increased significantly in bigger cities like Lahore and Karachi. Manufacturers are targeting youth market and so far are much successful in it. Youth of today who consider drinking such stuff is a symbol of fashion and status is unaware of the fact that these drinks are putting their lives at risk.
I think it is the high time now. Our government should step forward and ask the companies to stop marketing such products. There should be regulation of the labeling and sale of these drinks. The amounts of caffeine and other stimulants should be monitored by the proper health professionals.
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