Energy drinks are synonymous with eSports. Their high caffeine and high sugar ingredients give gamers a boost in energy, focus and concentration. These qualities naturally make them a desirable product to maintain and improve gaming performance, at all levels. Even at the top events of eSports, it is common to see a can of Red Bull or Monster next to a player on stage.
Energy drinks are not endorsed by health experts. What is in energy drinks that makes them so harmful to your health? Is it worth the trade for a quick energy boost? For this piece we will refer to 500ml sized Monster Energy, their flagship product.
Calories – 200
This is the same or lower than a standard bar of chocolate. A normal male tend to consume 1500-2000 calories per day. The problem with energy drinks is that these are known as “empty calories”, where you are getting little-to-no long term nutritional benefit
Caffeine – 160mg
In comparison, a cup of coffee can be around 70mg. 160mg is quite high, the recommended daily amount for an adult is 400mg For the younger crowd, who tend to drink energy drinks more, this caffeine level may be too high. The problem with caffeine is that once you consume it on the regular, your body adapts to it, needing more to get similar effects, or needing it to function, thus craving it more.
Sugar – 55 grams
This is over 10 teaspoons of sugar, and twice the recommended daily amount. The side effects of too much sugar are well documented, and like caffeine, the brain craves more as you consume regular high amounts. 55 grams is absurdly high.
Taurine – 1000 mg
Taurine is created naturally by the body, essential for cardiovascular function and the central nervous system. The recommended daily amount of Taurine is only 500mg, though the effects of overconsumption are unknown. The effects of Taurine and the brain still aren’t fully decided by experts. Fairly modern research even suggests that Taurine acts as a sedative to the brain, causing low blood pressure, which could explain the “crashing” feeling you get after an energy drink, making Taurine an odd addition to an energy drink, especially when the body produces enough naturally.
Energy drinks typically have high levels of B vitamins, Monster Energy is no different, with 200% of the recommended daily amount in B3. While B vitamins are needed in our diet, excessive amounts can lead to liver and nerve damage.
The above excessive ingredients is why most health experts shun energy drinks. They are a serious detriment to our health, and your body ends up craving them more, potentially leading to over consumption.
We don’t want to hate on the brands too much, Monster and Red Bull have been fantastic supporters of eSports over the year, sponsoring players, teams and tournaments. We hope their products can evolve into healthier products for gamers. Sugar free alternatives, like Monster Zero are a sign of progression, but are still far too harmful to recommend.