Energy drinks containing extremely high levels of caffeine are often used by bodybuilders trying to energize for extended workouts and others who seek an energy boost. However, these drinks pose a great risk to the heart and other body systems, according to the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. Severe dehydration, increased heart rate or palpitations, anxiety, insomnia, stroke, heart attack and even sudden death in some people with pre-existing health conditions have been reported.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently reported that by 2009, over 20,000 people visited emergency rooms each year as a result of conditions suffered from consumption of high caffeine energy drinks. This is double the 2005 statistic of only about 10,000 such incidents.
In Rochdale, England, bodybuilder Dean Wharmby learned of the dangers of energy drinks the hard way. Drinking up to eight per day, Wharmby also abandoned a healthy diet and consumed high-fat foods. Adding steroids to the mix for a period of time was certainly additional fuel on a fire of unhealthy behaviors. He did all of this to build up his physique and help his workout toward washboard abs.
Wharmby recently succumbed to liver cancer at the age of 39 years. He left behind a young child and his wife. All of this happened despite a healthy-looking physique, something Wharmby believed meant his internal health was fine, too.
Wharmby’s death is sadly not unusual in the world of energy drink consumers. Over 184,000 people have died from drinking the high caffeine, high sugar drinks since 2010. The caffeine content is so dangerous that even teenagers have suffered heart attacks from drinking more than one of these canned beverages in a day. Sugar content is so high that cancer risk is increased for these consumers.
For Wharmby, the mix of energy drinks with burgers, pizza, bacon and other fatty foods created a perfect storm for physical illness. He was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2010 when doctors found a large tumor. Although he decided to take on a natural lifestyle and healthy diet after the diagnosis, it was too late.
Although alcohol use is most often considered the cause of liver disease, unhealthy living of many forms can wreak havoc on the liver. Fatty foods result in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, resulting in liver cancer and liver failure. Sugar is also a culprit, although there is much debate regarding the connection of sugar to cancer.
Sugar molecules are found in the types of foods that Wharmby was so fond of consuming for his body build-up. Add his energy drink routine to this generally unhealthy approach and Wharmby possibly contributed to his own demise. This is something he admitted publicly himself, attributing his disease to his own dietary negligence.
Regardless of the causes of Wharmby’s cancer, his diet was both unhealthy and unnatural. Energy drinks consumed for an energy boost are a poor choice by those placing their money on the retail counter and chugging a drink or more each day. The caffeine in these beverages is proven deadly and sugar is a partner in such crimes, although precise linking of sugar to cancers and other fatal diseases is still being confirmed. Regardless of cancer issues, sugar causes other health problems well known to all, such as diabetes.
The saddest truth of all is that there are natural and healthy alternatives to all of the energy drinks and means used by people seeking a boost in energy or improved bodybuilding results. A more natural approach provides the same, if not better, results for the physique.
A bigger bonus to a healthier and natural approach is that the body is not damaged in the process and, in fact, better health is the result. Avoiding death as suffered by Wharmby should be motivation enough. Sadly, shortcuts and consumer trends often prevail over wiser decisions.
To increase energy naturally for a more energized workout or increased productivity, doctors at University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio recommend averting or alleviating exhaustion by drinking plenty of water, taking a 15-minute catnap, eating a healthy diet of protein and other essential nutrients, and using yoga or mindful meditation to restore energy. Natural dietary supplements are an added means of ensuring better energy, less fatigue, quality sleep and a more beautiful body, inside and out.