Are Energy Drinks Safe? By Paul Fulmer, MD

Are you one of the millions of people who can’t make it through the day without a jolt of caffeine?  For decades people have started their day with coffee.  Many a college student has pulled an “all-nighter” with a pot of coffee near by.  Today, instead of drinking all those cups of coffee, many now reach for an energy drink for that morning burst of energy to get the day started.

In a recent article in USA Today, the Food and Drug Administration’s investigation of 13 reported deaths and 33 hospitalizations were sited to be linked to the popular “5-hour Energy” drink.  This comes on the heels of last month’s link between “Monster Energy” drink and 5 deaths.  Since caffeine is not regulated in these popular energy drinks, the FDA is concerned that many of their natural stimulates are heightening the caffeine’s affect.  Symptoms of caffeine toxicity can include something as simple as nervousness to an extreme risk of cardiac arrhythmia.

Therefore, the real question is why do so many people need this “jolt” in the morning to get started?  A lot of the blame is our hectic lifestyle.  Always pushing to exceed.  Constantly up early, racing to work, the gym, out with friends, and then up late to get ready for the next day!  So what to do?  Something as simple as good sleep hygiene can help tremendously.  Going to bed at a reasonable hour, calming your mind an hour or so before sleep and making sure you have a comfortable, cool and quiet place to sleep can make all the difference.

If however you tend to go to bed at a similar hour each night and feel you get plenty of rest, yet still wake up exhausted, you may have developed “sleep disordered breathing”. This can range from snoring to a more serious condition called Sleep Apnea.  As our population ages and trends toward a more overweight society, poor sleep is on the rise.  Increasing numbers of people are developing sleep apnea which can increase their risk of heart disease, hypertension and stroke!

So the real answer is not continued consumption of dangerous, high caffeine energy drinks.  NO!  The real answer is better sleep.  Therefore, try a simple improvement of your sleep hygiene and see if you don’t wake up more refreshed each day.  If however you continue to feel drained and exhausted, consider seeking medical help.  Sleep is a vital component of your everyday life.  Visit our web site,, and learn more about getting better sleep today.

Better sleep leads to better productivity without the risk of a high-caffeine Energy drink!

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